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An off-spinner bowling leg-spin is like multi-lingual: Tendulkar

New Delhi: An off-spinner who can bowl leg-breaks is like a multi-lingual, said Sachin Tendulkar, reflecting on the growing demand for wrist spinners in limited-overs cricket given the difficult questions they are posing to batsmen all around.

While Tendulkar did not take any names, his observation on off-spinners trying to bowl leg-break would certainly be music to Ravichandran Ashwin’s ears, as he is trying his hand at wrist spin with an eye on national comeback in the shorter versions.

“I feel it can only help. It’s like you know two to three different languages. Now there is no harm in knowing five or six different languages. It can’t take away anything from you,” Tendulkar, who is celebrating his 45th birthday today, told PTI in an interview.

“It’s exactly the same when one develops more variation. So it’s wrong to say that they (finger spinners) are joining a bandwagon now that they are bowling leg spin. No, they aren’t. Rather, we should see that they have put in effort to develop a delivery,” he said.

And what does he make of the view that the off-spinners’ attempts are futile? “I think it’s wrong thinking of people (that off-spinners can’t bowl leg-breaks). I am not blaming the player here. I am blaming the people (perception) here. Leg-break could be just another weapon in your armoury.

“People can bowl off-spin but along with that off-spin, if they are capable of bowling leg-spin as a variation, then why not,” Tendulkar said.

The legendary batsman feels that if someone can get his leg-breaks right, it should be considered a strength. “If doosra bowled by an off-spinner is seen as a weapon, then him bowling a leg-break if situation demands, shouldn’t be considered his weakness. Rather, it should be considered his strength, when he gets it right.

“I can talk about myself. In matches, I used to bowl off-spin to left-handers and leg-breaks to right-handers. If you are able to do it, then why not.” On the younger lot of batsmen failing to read leg-break bowlers’ wrists, Tendulkar feels that the current crop of bowlers have really made the willow-wielders think.

“I don’t think it would be a great thing to generalise that batsmen are not reading the googlies from leg-breaks. A batsman can see an outswinger and still manages to edge it. To err is human. But I agree that leg-spinners have forced today’s batsmen to think more,” said the legend of 200 Test matches.