Ravichandran Ashwin, who wants the game’s governing body ICC to do away with the current elbow flexion of 15 degrees to a permissible level feels Saqlain Mushtaq was the only spinner who bowled a “legal doosra” during his playing career.
Ravichandran Ashwin in an engaging discussion with former South Africa performance analyst Prasanna Agoram spoke elaborately about one of the off-spinners lethal delivery that spins away from right-handers.
Ravichandran Ashwin Urges ICC To Enable Spinners To Bowl The Doosra With An Appropriate Bend
While Saqlain Mushtaq started the doosra revolution, the others who bowled the wrong ‘un included Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, and Saeed Ajmal.
“According to me, let’s not do away with it (doosra) but enable spinners to bowl the doosra responsibly with an appropriate bend,’ Ravichandran Ashwin said in his Tamil YouTube show ‘The Legend of the Doosra’ with Prasanna Agoram.
“There should not be any line of breach. Everyone should be allowed to bowl as such – 15 degrees or 20-22 degrees.”
“I want an equal balance between bat and ball. Bowlers need the same leeway as batsmen. This is how competition can get better. I want to see bowlers defend 125 in T20 cricket. That’s the bottom line,” he added.
“But in some cases when the (umpires’) action happens only for doosra, I want ICC to flex it to 18.6 degrees. If the bowlers are allowed to bowl the doosra, the competitiveness (between batsmen and bowler) should be considered,” he added.
A doosra is a particular type of delivery by an off-spin bowler in the sport of cricket. The doosra spins in the opposite direction to an off-break (the off-spinner’s default delivery) and aims to confuse the batsman into playing an unavoidable shot.
The doosra was popularised by former Pakistani international cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq. A variety of bowlers have made considerable use of the doosra in international cricket. Users include former Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, Indian Harbhajan Singh, and South African Johan Botha. Other Pakistanis who use it include Shoaib Malik and former spinner Saeed Ajmal.
A rule change was proposed after Muttiah Muralitharan was reported for suspect bowling action and it was accepted at a meeting of ICC chief executives in early 2005, stating that any bowler may straighten the arm up to 15° (which was earlier 9° for spinners and 12° for seamers) as his doosra once again became a legal delivery.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Saqlain Mushtaq Bowled The Doosra Beautifully And Legally
Ravichandran Ashwin also said that former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was the one who bowled the ‘doosra’ beautifully and legally.
“Saqlain bowled it (the ‘doosra’) beautifully and legally. He bowled it at a slow pace and it was also the legally possible speed (77 kmph),” he said.
The only other spinner according to him, who bowled the doosra legally, was Shoaib Malik before he started concentrating more on his batting.
Saqlain Mushtaq played international cricket between 1995 and 2004. Saqlain Mushtaq, known for introducing the Doosra, in his first full year (1996) with the Pakistan team established a record for the most ODI wickets in a calendar year (65). He then did even better the following year, setting a mark (69) that still stands.
His impact was so great that he became the fastest bowler in history in terms of time (one year and 225 days) to reach the landmark of 100 ODI wickets, and to this day, no one else has got there in less than two years.