Ashwin’s presence as the senior offie meant that Malolan had to warm the bench in TN’s two previous matches against Andhra and Tripura. Yet, Malolan said Ashwin’s presence was a “huge bonus” for him.
In fact, Malolan had sought the guidance of Ashwin to improve his bowling earlier this May. “I know for a fact that when he is around, I’m unlikely to play. But I’m focussed on improving my bowling every day. There is a lot of difference in working with Ashwin in the nets and interacting with him in a match situation.
When you sit next to a guy who has taken close to 300 wickets in 50-odd Tests, there is so much to learn. “Despite his achievements, Ashwin has no ego. He is open to suggestions. In both the matches, we were discussing about what speeds to bowl in which session, skills, about various fielding positions.
Both of us being off-spinners, I would ask him what goes through his mind in choosing a specific field. It’s been a great learning curve for me,” said 28-year-old Malolan. For left-armer Rahil, who bowled in tandem with Ashwin in the last two games, it was about understanding the art of carom Ball, which he started to bowl from last Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
“We have played together from junior level. I have a good rapport with him. I wanted to know about the carom ball, which Ashwin bowls so well. I asked a few things about various grips and the loading points. It’s important to understand how you hold the ball and release it. I was seeking his inputs on how to get more turn out of the carom ball,” said Rahil, who attended a trial with Gujarat Lions last IPL.
TNPL sensation Sai couldn’t have asked for a better season to make his first-class debut. The 20-year-old leftarm spinner made his maiden appearance for TN in Ranji cricket with his “role model” Ashwin giving him inputs on the field.
“I never expected it. There were four internationals (Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Abhinav Mukund and M Vijay) in the squad when I was making my debut. I was amazed how Ashwin was able to analyse a batsman quickly. I also discussed with him about undercutting the ball. “On the field, Ashwin was guiding me on when to bowl attacking lines and what sort of a field to set. I couldn’t have asked for more,” he added.
While Malolan was out of the XI with Ashwin playing, Washington, who bagged 11 wickets in his Duleep Trophy debut, had to wait for quite some time before he got the ball.
And the 18-year-old “understood” things and showed maturity bowling with Ashwin. “I know Ashwin was there and he is the No 1Test bowler. So, it is definitely important for me to understand those things as well,” said Washington.
Source : timesofindia