Australian spin great Ashley Mallett wants to see Ravichandran Ashwin bowl orthodox off-spin
Former Australia off-spinner Ashley Mallett (66) felt that India's Ravichandran Ashwin must, "stop bowling those ridiculous leg-breaks" and stick to orthodox off-spin in the third Test match here at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground (WACA) starting Friday.
Mallett, who moved from his native Perth to Adelaide in 1967, said that the Fremantle Doctor (according to Wikipedia, 'the cooling afternoon sea breeze which occurs during December and January in south west coastal areas of Western Australia') would help the Indian off-spinner.
"While bowling into the Fremantle Doctor, you always get good turn away from the right-handers with sharp bounce. Perth is a good place to bowl off-breaks. There isn't so much turn, but there's lot of bounce. The curve that you get bowling into the wind, with the bounce, compensates for the lack of turn," he told MiD DAY yesterday.
Mallett expressed disappointment at Ashwin's performance in the first two Tests. "I am not sure why he keeps experimenting with those leg-breaks and what not. He must stick to bowl off-breaks rather those ridiculous leg-break thing that he bowls. The off-breaks need to be bowled at a straighter line - the ball will turn with bounce when bowling into the wind. He has stop bowling like Saqlain Mushtaq - the doosras - he used to chuck.
Ashwin's bowling a lot of balls that are either too short, not driving the batsmen into making mistakes. He's not testing the batsmen," he said."I'd like to see Ashwin bowl just outside off-stump and concentrate on off-breaks. He bowled beautifully to Michael Hussey at Melbourne - should have had him caught at slip. That's what he should do - spin hard and bowl from different points from the crease," Mallett added.
Adelaide-based Mallett, who took 132 wickets from 38 Tests, urged India skipper MS Dhoni to do his homework before the Perth Test. "The field changing here at Perth has to be different compared to other venues - because the ball runs away from point easily. The point has to be usually finer. If Ashwin fails to get his drift going, and drops it short, he could go for a lot of runs," he warned.
Mallett said he wasn't surprised with the series scoreline (2-0 to Australia). "I am not surprised. Everyone was hyping it to be India's chance (to win a maiden series). They have never played well against the bouncing ball. I've been surprised with VVS Laxman - thought he would have played a lot better. Sachin Tendulkar looks okay. Rahul Dravid looks shocking. Don't know why.
"Laxman shouldn't go to the nets. He should visit an eye doctor (laughs). Dravid is supposed to be The Wall? He has been bowled three times (laughs). But in all seriousness, it's been a shocking effort by India," he said. Mallett took 28 wickets from five Tests against India at 19.10 with three five-wicket hauls on the tour of India in 1969-70 when Australia clinched the series 3-1.