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Ace India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed the person from whom he learnt the skills to bowl the carrom ball -- a delivery through which he has bamboozled many batsmen across formats.
Ashwin said it was a person named SK who used to bowl the delivery with a proper action and extract drift, that too with a tennis ball when they used to play on the streets of Chennai.
"The first time I went to play a tennis ball game, I was batting. There was this guy who was bowling with a proper action, getting beautiful drift and getting the ball to go nicely out and in. Till today I can't find where the guy is but I haven't seen a better bowler who can bowl both in and out than him in my life. His name is SK. He was the one from whom I learnt that ball," Ashwin said on a Cricbuzz show.
The 33-year-old added that he would spend every morning with this friend, learning the art of the mystery ball, for 15 days.
"Basically he was the one who made me look like an absolute idiot on that particular day. I was a big thing around the tennis ball circuit as a batsman then, so I said I need to learn from this guy. So I used to go every morning, and he used to come and teach me for about 10-15 days," he added.
Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis is touted to have introduced this delivery during his debut in 2008, earning him the tag of being a 'mystery spinner' for quite some time.
Ashwin, who has picked 362 wickets in 70 Tests, is part of the India squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand which gets underway in Wellington on February 21.