Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has expressed his disappointment with Delhi Capitals' Ravichandran Ashwin, saying that he needs to realise that he is an off-spinner. Further, Gambhir suggested that the 34-year-old should first stick to his off-spin bowling before trying out his variations.
Ashwin on Wednesday lacked rhythm as he bowled 2.5 overs to spend 22 runs without taking any wicket. On the other hand, his spin partner Axar Patel scalped 2 wickets for 21 runs in his four-over quota.
Two-time IPL-winning captain Gambhir has reckoned that Ashwin should have bowled Test match-type bowling before trying out his variations which he is known for. According to Gambhir, sticking to the basics could have helped Ashwin, who was benched in all the four Test matches against England after the World Test Championship (WTC) final versus New Zealand in June during, shrug off his rustiness.
"He is currently the best off-spinner in the world but he didn't bowl off-spin at all. It is necessary for him to first understand that he is an off-spinner. It was an ideal situation for him where the opposition was three or four down," Gambhir told Star Sports.
"There is no doubt that you have not played cricket for a long time, you didn't play the four Tests and the match pressure is completely different, whichever format it might be, you should have bowled your traditional off-spin until you were hit for a six.
"You should have bowled the Test match-type bowling and got back your rhythm and feel. Whether it is batting or bowling, everything is about the feel. We saw the knuckle ball at the start itself. The entire world knows that you have variations of all types, you can bowl the googly, leg-spin, knuckle ball but you are still an off-spinner.
"You can get wickets with off-spin also. It is not necessary that it is T20 cricket or white ball, so you have to show your variations. He disappointed me a little from that point of view but I am sure that going forward he will bowl more off-spin because he is a world-class bowler," Gambhir added.
Eyes will be on Ashwin throughout the IPL 2021 as the Tamil Nadu spinner returned to the T20I scheme of things after a gap of 4 years after being named in India's 15-man T20 World Cup squad. He was picked ahead of wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, the same duo to whom he lost his spot in white-ball squads after the ICC Champions Trophy and India's tour of West Inidies in 2017.