Ravichandran Ashwin Said He Imitated Harbhajan Singh's Bowling Action After Going Past His Tally Of 417 Test Wickets
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Ravichandran Ashwin Said He Imitated Harbhajan Singh’s Bowling Action After Going Past His Tally Of 417 Test Wickets

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s off-spinner has revealed that he used to imitate Harbhajan Singh’s bowling action during his younger days as a cricketer. Ravichandran Ashwin also added that ‘Bhajju pa’ was the reason he took up spin bowling.

On Monday, Ravichandran Ashwin went past Harbhajan Singh’s tally of 417 wickets to become the third-highest wicket-taker in India’s Test history. The 35-year-old achieved the feat when he bowled New Zealand opener Tom Latham for 52 on Day 5 of the Kanpur Test.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh
Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak (PTI9_25_2015_000078A)

Ravichandran Ashwin Decided To Take Up Off-Spin Because Of Harbhajan Singh

In a light-hearted interaction with Player of the Match Shreyas Iyer (105 & 65), Ravichandran Ashwin recalled how he used to copy Harbhajan Singh’s bowling action before discovering his own groove.

The seasoned off-spinner told Shreyas Iyer: “I used to bowl a bit of seam up for Tamil Nadu. Then I had a pelvic disc slip. After that, I just started batting, didn’t want to bowl at all. But, after that 2001 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, I decided to take up off-spin because of ‘Bhajju pa’.

“It’s pretty easy, you put your hands across, hop and skip and keep going. That’s how I started. Now, I don’t know if I can do it (smiles).”

Shreyas Iyer at the Green Park Stadium Photo: BCCI
Shreyas Iyer at the Green Park Stadium Photo: BCCI

Ravichandran Ashwin also got the wicket of Tom Blundell (2) on Day 5 in Kanpur and now has 419 Test wickets to his name at an excellent average of 24.48. Ravichandran Ashwin is currently on a high. He recently made a successful comeback to India’s T20 squad after a gap of four years, during the World Cup in the UAE. He has continued the good work in the home series against New Zealand.

However, the Tamil Nadu cricketer admitted that he was unsure about where his career was heading during the time of the pandemic. Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three wickets in both innings of the Kanpur Test and also made useful contributions of 38 and 32 with the bat.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin conceded: “I didn’t know if I would play Test cricket after the pandemic. I hadn’t played the last Test in Christchurch (before COVID).

“I was standing at the crossroads thinking whether I would play Test matches. Where is my future headed? Do I get into the Test team? This is the only format I play. God has been kind and I have been able to turn around things.”

It has to be noted that Harbhajan Singh, who enjoyed a sensational run in the Test arena, was replaced by none other than Ravichandran Ashwin in the national team. Making his Test debut in 2011, Ravichandran Ashwin performed regularly and didn’t take long in cementing his place in the side. The same cost him, Harbhajan Singh, a regular spot in the playing XI.

Senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was shockingly dropped from the Test team from all of the 4 Tests against hosts England (after WTC Final) before he remarkably bowled well in the T20I World Cup 2021 on his comeback to the white ball squad after a 4-year gap following which he donned the whites again in the 1st Test vs NZ

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has played 5 T20Is since his comeback in the limited-overs format after a gap of 4 years. He has picked 9 scalps at an average of 11.66 and an economy rate of 5.25, and a strike rate of 13.3.

Despite being the leading wicket-taker in the squad, he was left out from all 4 Tests that India played on the England tour. To date, he has picked up 419 wickets in the 80 Tests he has played for India, at an excellent average of 24.49.

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