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Picture: IPLT20.com

Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t have an ideal start in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he was hammered all over the park by Suresh Raina and Moeen Ali in Delhi Capitals’ first game against CSK. Though he did manage to get the wicket of Ali, Ashwin leaked 47 runs from his quota of four overs.

Having said that, former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar opined of his poor performance in the first game of IPL 2021 saying that Ashwin doesn’t back his strengths. Ashwin is India’s one of the most successful spinners in the purest format of the game but isn’t in the scheme of things in white-ball format.

“For Amit Mishra, there isn’t much change in how he bowls in Tests 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,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.

Ashwin’s exploits in Test cricket has often prompted fans to demand his presence in the limited-overs format. The cricketer-turned-commentator, however, doesn’t fancy the idea as he is of the opinion that the 34-year-old will not be able to weave his magic in the shorter format.

“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,” he stated.

“So in return, you don’t get much return off the pitch because he’s not bowling any turning deliveries. 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,” he added.

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