Sanjay Manjrekar believes Ravichandran Ashwin's insistence on using too many variations in white-ball cricket is leading to his downfall. Manjrekar said on Sunday that the off-spinner should put more trust in his stock delivery in the shorter formats like he does in Test matches.
Ravichandran Ashwin had a fairly expensive outing against Chennai Super Kings in the 2nd match of IPL 2021. He picked up the solitary wicket of Moeen Ali and got hit for 47 runs in his four overs, the second-worst economy rate in the match for his team.
The offie was seen trying a panoply of variations during the match, including a Kedar Jadhav-style round-arm delivery. However, none of them seemed to work against Ali and Co. who smashed him for four boundaries and as many sixes.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Sanjay Manjrekar compared Ravichandran Ashwin with leg-spinner Amit Mishra, pointing out that there wasn't much change in Mishra's bowling across formats. The former batsman added that Ravichandran Ashwin tries to 'escape punishment' with his variations and in turn impedes his own strengths.
"For Amit Mishra, there isn't much change in how he bowls in Test and T20 cricket. He sticks to his strength and his intent is to get the ball to turn. Ashwin doesn't bowl the off-spinner! He hardly bowls the off-spinner in white-ball cricket. In Test matches, that's his main delivery. In white-ball cricket, there's a lot of other stuff, the pause and the round-arm delivery and stuff like that which I don't really like too much."
"I think Ashwin, when he gets into this white-ball circle, he's only thinking about not getting hit and he thinks the only way to escape punishment is to have all these kinds of variations and he goes away from his main strength which is him being this wonderful off-spinner. So in return, you don't get much return off the pitch because he's not bowling any turning deliveries," said Sanjay Manjrekar.
Ravichandran Ashwin's poor outing didn't have much of a bearing on Delhi Capitals' performance. Their pacers stood up and restricted CSK to 188 which the top-order chased down with 8 balls to spare.
Ravichandran Ashwin of Test matches is not who you see in white-ball cricket: Sanjay Manjrekar
Speaking further on the subject, Sanjay Manjrekar pointed to the recent demands from pundits and supporters to include Ravichandran Ashwin in India's limited-overs squads. Manjrekar argued that Ravichandran's Ashwin's skills in shorter formats are inferior to his prowess in the longest format.
"It wasn't a case of Ashwin bowling badly. I think both Raina and Moeen played some superb shots that put him off his length, they hit the good balls for sixes. But this is the thing with Ashwin that we saw in the first game... a lot of people believe that he should be part of the white-ball format for India but the Ashwin that you see in Test matches is not who you see in white-ball cricket," said Sanjay Manjrekar.
The Delhi Capitals will play their next game on April 15 against the Rajasthan Royals.