While the art of wrist spin has taken over white-ball cricket, finger spinners such as Ravichandran Ashwin, Nathan Lyon, and Keshav Maharaj have continued to dominate in the classical format of the game.
India’s wily off-spinner Ashwin, in a recent interview, recalled his feat of dismissing Sri Lankan matador Kumar Sangakkara four times in 23 deliveries, in the latter’s farewell Test series back in 2015.
“I was really, really lucky because I was in the form of my life. The ball was coming out like a dream, I didn’t have to think about anything. I felt like my entire action and rhythm was in motion,” Ashwin told Pakistani journalist Mazher Arshad.
In Test cricket, Ashwin has had the wood over left-handers, possessing an exceptional average, and a decent strike-rate and wickets tally.
“I also felt that he got some really good balls, I was in a good phase. I was bowling like a dream to left-handers. I felt like whenever I saw any left-hander I could see who he was,” Ashwin added.
A modern-legend of the game, Sangakkara upset several spinners during his prime, namely Harbhajan Singh, Sunil Narine, Saeed Ajmal and Lyon.
Moreover, it was the guile of Ashwin, which helped him scalp Sanga’s wicket four times during his farewell series.
“And I loved bowling in Sri Lanka. Because Sri Lanka pitches are not big on the spin, but they have a good bounce and speed to carry an edge to the slips. So, I really enjoyed bowling in that phase of my career. It was about the right time in the right place. Sangakkara was about to finish his career, and I was about to take off my career. So, I found myself at the right time of my career against Sanga,” Ashwin signed off.