Ravichandran Ashwin believes that bowlers also need freedom like batsmen. The star spinner of the Indian cricket team feels that Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq was the only spinner to bowl a ‘valid second’ ball during his career. Ashwin wants the game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), to remove the current 15-degree limit for elbow flexion to an acceptable level.
Ashwin spoke at length about this dangerous delivery from the off-spinners during a discussion with former South Africa ‘Performance’ analyst Prasanna Agoram. Saqlain opened the ‘doosra’ bowling and ‘Rang Un’ bowling included Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh and Saeed Ajmal. In his Tamil YouTube channel show ‘The Legend of the Doosra’, Ashwin in a discussion with Agoram said, “According to me, we should not eliminate it (doosra), but give spinners the second with proper elbow bend and responsibility. Should be able to throw the ball.
“There should not be any kind of violation in this,” he said. Everyone should be allowed to bowl with a turn (15 degrees or 20-22 degrees). Agoram wants the ICC to increase the elbow bend limit to 15 degrees. He also wants the spinners to bowl the second ball responsibly.
He said, ‘I want an equal balance between bat and ball. Bowlers also need freedom like batsmen. This can lead to better competition. I want to see bowlers defending the score of 125 in T20 cricket. This is the bottom line.’
Agoram said, “But in some cases when the umpires’ action is only for a second, I want the ICC to reduce the bend of this elbow to 18.6 degrees.” If bowlers are allowed to bowl second then competition (between batsmen and bowlers) should be considered.
Ashwin also said that former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was the only bowler to bowl the second ball beautifully legitimately. Another spinner, according to him, is Shoaib Malik who has started to focus more on his batting.