Reported By: Somya Kapoor
Last Updated: September 19, 2023, 16:38 IST
Meerut Mavericks’ spinner Abhinav Tiwari stamped his authority with the ball as he bagged a three-fer in his very first outing for the side in the recently concluded UPT20. However, it wasn’t his wickets which hogged the limelight but his ability to bowl with both hands.
Tiwari started off as a right-arm medium pace bowler but injuries in the very beginning of his career forced him to make a shift and take up spin bowling. The youngster not only accepted this change whole-heartedly but also perfected the art of bowling with both hands.
“I started playing cricket at the age of 16-17 in Allahabad and I used to be a right-arm medium pacer initially. Unfortunately, I sustained some injuries that impacted my pace. Then, my coach Asif sir & some of the seniors suggested me to try my hand at spin bowling. Initially, it was a bit challenging but with time, it got better,” Abhinav said in an exclusive chat with CricketNext.
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“No doubt, it was a challenging task. I worked on my off-break bowling as well. It was difficult to have that control with both the hands but continuous practice helped me,” he further added.
Initially, the coaches didn’t really approve of Abhinav bowling with both hands. They were of the opinion that the spinner should focus on bowling with one hand and get the accuracy right. But the youngster had different ideas. He was adamant on developing this different skillset & he succeeded.
“When I started, the coaches were of the opinion that I should focus on bowling with one hand only and get that accuracy. But honestly, I took it as a challenge and put in my hard work. My left hand was pretty active as I used to write with my left hand as well. Slowly & gradually, I started bowling in the nets and got that control and accuracy,” said Abhinav.
An ambidextrous bowler in the mix definitely adds lot of variety to the attack but it isn’t an easy skill to master. Talking about his drills, practice sessions and fitness, Abhinav said that he bowls around 200 deliveries per hand in a single day.
“See, the thing with spin bowling is that bowl in the nets as much as you can. So, I have been doing that on regular basis. Spot bowling is something that is really beneficial. It helps you get that control. I bowl around 200 deliveries per hand in a day. Fitness is something which is very important and we really have to take care of our body,” revealed Abhinav.
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Performing against Rinku Singh gives confidence
Abhinav has been sharing dressing room with some big guns which has been helpful in giving him some good insights about the game. Moreover, the young spinner believes that the UP T20 tournament has turned out to be a great platform for the youngsters to showcase their talent.
“The surrounding and the environment is really good. It feels really good to be around the players who have played for India and tournaments like IPL. There is a lot to learn from them and it’s a great feeling to share the dressing room with them. It’s a great platform for all the budding cricketers. If you perform well, you will get that recognition.”
Abhinav is a part of a side in the tournament that has someone like Rinku Singh in the ranks. Asked about his experience of bowling to Rinku in the nets, Tiwari said, “No one can doubt his batting ability. It’s a big challenge to bowl at him. But if you bowl well against him, you get that self-belief and confidence. I bowl at him with my right-hand as he is very comfortable against the left-arm spinners.”