CHENNAI: Playing two leg spinners is a luxury in T20 and that too in a high profile tournament like the Indian Premier League. But Kings XI Punjab's coach Anil Kumble's move to have two leggies, Ravi Bishnoi (3/32) and Murugan Ashwin (3/21), paid rich dividends as the KL Rahul-led side hammered Viraohli's RCB on Thursday.
"It was an excellent move by Anil Kumble to have two leg spinners against RCB. The wickets in the UAE are aiding spinners, in particular the leggies. You need good footwork to play leg-spin and this is where the RCB batsman were found wanting. Murugan Ashwin was spot on and this performance will do a lot of good for his confidence,'' said former India spinner M Venkataramana.
Ravi Bishnoi too lauded the role of Kumble in the team's success. "He (Anil) taught me to keep a calm mind and handle situations during the match with a cool head. He also asked me to stick to my strength and not try too many things," said Bishnoi.
Ashwin trains under Venkataramana at his club MRC 'A' in the TNCA Senior Division league.
"Ashwin has been working on his game in the league for the last season or so. He has been working on his accuracy and other variations. He has been doing well in the IPL right from the time he was playing for Pune. At the Pune team it was MS Dhoni who saw his potential and encouraged him. Against Bangalore he bowled with a lot of confidence and maturity,'' he pointed out.
Many believe that this good performance will help Ashwin get more opportunities to prove his mettle.
"Against RCB, Ashwin was bowling wicket to wicket with subtle variations. He had good bounce and the fact that Punjab posted a mammoth total helped their bowlers. Ashwin also possesses good googly. It is a good beginning for him in the tournament,'' said Venkataramana.
Bishnoi revealed that solid preparations was behind the team's good show. "We had a long camp before the IPL. It's more about mental preparations, skill levels are almost identical at this level," he said.
Venkatramana believes that it is time for Ashwin to consolidate and bowl with a lot more confidence. "He is bowling with a good rhythm and needs to consolidate. It is a long tournament and you need to keep working and improving your game based on the conditions and the players against whom you are going to bowl,'' opined the former Tamil Nadu off-spinner.