This was bound to happen with Ravichandran Ashwin. He has been trying so many variations for a very long time now. In this case a bowler is bound to lose his original style and that is exactly what I feel is happening with him. He is basically doing what he is comfortable with at the minute because he doesn’t know his original action.
When a bowler starts relying on so many variations he is bound to lose his consistency. I feel Ashwin is using more variations than he has numbers of balls to bowl in an over. When you do that you are going to lose control. I sometimes wonder what the bowling coach does with him, letting the lead spinner drift away like that.
I think we should seriously get rid of a bowling coach like that. I feel proper guidance from somebody who is a spinner is very important before we totally ruin these spinners.
If Ashwin has started bowling a lot of variations then simply the captain and the coach are letting him do it. When the whole world knew what it was leading up to, the captain and the coach didn’t know? They should have just ask him to stop there and then. If they don’t do it even now, we may see him bowling medium pace soon.
I won’t say that it will be too tough for him to get back to what he used to bowl like but if anybody doesn’t tell him to focus on his off-spinners, then it will get a bit difficult. Here it is important that somebody who knows spin bowling should guide Ashwin. Someone who has bowled a lot of spin should be made to counsel these (spin) bowlers.
I doubt what Dawes can tell our spinners. He was a fast bowler himself. So it is time that we turn to someone who has bowled in the domestic circuit and international stage. As a cricket lover and a former Indian cricketer, I felt so bad when I saw Rayudu bowling like that. It is a joke and I said I am not watching it.
I feel as a spinner you should base your variations around your stock ball. I remember he replaced Harbhajan Singh because Harbhajan was getting twenty overs in a Test to get a wicket. I think Ashwin is becoming very similar. I really feel that it is high time that we should start thinking about how to improve these bowlers for the 2015 World Cup. We just need to bring in right people. It is a long time until the World Cup and a lot of good can still be done.
(Former India spinner Maninder Singh experimented with a change in action himself when he experienced a slump in form during his playing days. As told to Siddhartha Sharma)