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‘Bowlers should be allowed to bowl the second ball’

India’s star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels Saqlain Mushtaq was the only spinner to bowl a legal second during his career. Ashwin wants the ICC to relax the existing 15-degree elbow flexion rule. Ashwin feels that the 15 degree elbow rule is coming in the way for the second throw.

In a fascinating discussion with former South Africa performance analyst Prasanna Agoram, Ashwin talks at length about the deadly delivery of an off-spinner who is getting away from the right-handed batsmen. While Saqlain started the revolution of the second ball, others who bowled this ball included Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh and Saeed Ajmal.

Ravichandran Ashwin statement

“According to me, it shouldn’t finish (second) but spinners should be able to bowl second responsibly with appropriate turns,” Ashwin said. There should be no violation of any kind. Everyone should be allowed to bowl in a manner that has 15 degree or 20-22 degree elbow rotation.

Australia v India: 3rd Test: Day 1
Australia v India: 3rd Test: Day 1

The Indian spinner also said that I want an equal balance between bat and ball. Bowlers need relaxation just like batsmen. This way the competition can be better. I want to see bowlers defending 125 in T20 cricket. That’s a bottom line. In some cases when (umpire) action is only for second, I want ICC to flex it at 18.6 degrees. If bowlers are allowed to bowl ‘second’, then competition (between batsman and bowler) should be considered. Ashwin also said that former Pakistan bowler Saqlain Mushtaq did the ‘doosra’ better and legally.


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