Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Akshay Karnewar bowls right-handed and left-handed in same over against Baroda
This was the first occasion where a bowler completely changed his style of bowling on the Indian domestic circuit level.
There have not been many occasions in which a bowler who generally bowled right-handed, has shifted his style to stun opponents while bowling right and left handed in the same over. There have been several cases where a pacer turned spinner or a spinner turned into a pacer and this one over will remain amongst one of the most out-of-the-box ideas.
Although this was the first occasion where a bowler completely changed his style of bowling on the Indian domestic circuit level, there have been instances on the international level.
During a Super League group A clash at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai for the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, Vidharbha bowler Akshay Karnewar changed his bowling style, bowling both right-handed and left-handed in the same over, which ensured he surprised not only his team-mates but also the batsmen and the umpires.
During the match featuring Vidarbha and Baroda, Hardik Pandya and Irfan Pathan, two of Baroda’s batsmen were on course to go all guns blazing during the chase to up the run-rate when the bowler, Akshay Karnewar decided to do something different to stem the flow of runs.
The bowler started bowling left-arm orthodox spin to right-handed Hardik and conventional right-arm off spin to the left-handed Irfan Pathan. The idea almost seemed to work, as he all but managed to snaffle two wickets in the same over, but was heavily let down by the Vidharbha fielders.
How the over turned out and the chances presented
The first ball bowled to Pathan was a simple off-break and the left-hander managed to swat it in the air straight to deep point, who astonishingly grassed the simplest of chances. The second and third ball were driven by both the batsmen for singles.
For the fourth ball, Karnewar went around the stumps and tossed it on leg stump. Hardik, while attempting a lap sweep didn’t time it well enough and luckily for him just fell short of the short-fine leg fielder, Ravikumar Thakur.
Had the bowler snared the two wickets of Pandya and Pathan, it would have surely ensured an easy path to victory for Vidharbha.
Hardik Pandya’s reaction
After winning the match for Baroda, Pandya admitted that it was the first time that he encountered such a style of bowling. Although he smashed the bowlers around to win it for his team with one over to spare, Pandya said he had never faced a bowler like this who had changed his style.
Although this isn’t a first for this style of play and did not result in victory, Akshay Karnewar will surely be applauded for his innovation in the domestic circuit.