New Delhi: Tweakers world over are experimenting with what they claim to be new variations but Indian offspinner R Ashwin can't understand the hype around the 'teesras' and insists that there are just two basic deliveries to work with for an offspinner.
For someone who has been a very successful exponent of carrom ball, Ashwin has a very simple take on the number of variations that any off-break bowler can possess. "I don't think there's anything like 'teesra', 'chautha' or 'paanchwa' that exists! There are two basic deliveries - one that comes into the batsman and the one that goes away," the 25-year-old said nonchalantly, when asked whether he believes that something like 'teesra' exists as claimed by Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal.
Ashwin was also dismissive about comparison with Harbhajan Singh. "I have never been bothered one bit about comparisons with Harbhajan Singh. I am completely focussed on my job, once I enter the playing arena. Nothing else bothers me. I believe that I do my job just like you journalists do your job," the talented Tamil Nadu offspinner told PTI during an exclusive interview.
Ashwin also has enjoyed being the leader of Indian spin attack. "Leading an attack for your country means a lot of responsibility. You have to perform consistently and keep the flag flying high. It's a challenge that I have always relished. I am looking forward to new season."
The tweaker, who recently enjoyed a well-deserved break, said it has helped him rejuvenate and his primary aim will be to last the full season. "I don't want to think too far ahead about what I intend to achieve mentally. But it has been a good break and it has helped me to get fresh before the new season starts. I haven't worked on any specific technicalities."
"It will really be a long season and my aim would be to remain fit and last the whole season," said Ashwin, who has already played six Tests, 35 ODIs and nine Twenty20 Internationals for India.
For someone who already has a Test century and a half century to his credit, Ashwin is determined to better his performances with the willow. "Along with my bowling which I always work upon to improve, I am putting in a lot of effort in my batting. I am trying to put all the effort to extend my capacity which will help me contribute in a bigger way for the team's cause."
So, is he ready to fit in as an allrounder which might give skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni an option to try out five bowlers in Test matches, Ashwin replied, "That will certainly be the team management's call. But as far as I am concerned, I am ready to contribute, in whatever manner the team wants me to."
The Chennai Super Kings star also feels that it will be good homework for the Indian team during this upcoming limited overs series in Sri Lanka ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in the island nation. "Obviously, when World T20 starts, we will be one up over our other opponents having got a chance to assess the conditions."
He forged a successful partnership with Pragyan Ojha during the Test matches against West Indies and now they both might operate in ODIs as well. Ashwin feels that there won't be much change in roles from the longer format. "When two quality bowlers operate from both ends, it only increases pressure on opposition batsman. The fact that myself and Ojha have played together for a long time since our junior days also helped in understanding each other's bowling."