Chennai: He may have smashed his way to a 60-ball-76 but Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis admitted that he was surprised by unheralded Vidarbha spinner Akshay Karnewar's ambidextrous skills wherein he bowled off-breaks as well as slow left-arm orthodox spin.
While Karnewar was expensive going for 59 off 6 overs, taking Travis Head's wicket but his special skills certainly made him a topic discussion in the Australian dressing room.
Karnewar started his spell during Australia's warm-up match against BP XI bowling right-arm off-spin to left-handed Head but when the right-handed Stoinis was on strike, Karnewar not only changed the point of his approach to the other side of the stumps, he started bowling left-handed.
"I actually didn't know what the umpire was trying to tell me," said Stoinis about the standing umpire informing him of a significant change in approach from Karnewar.
"He was trying to say 'he's going to bowl left arm to you'. So that's brilliant by him. I've never seen that before. Ever," Stoinis was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia website.
It was a trend the ambidextrous Karnewar continued for the entirety of his six-over spell at Chepauk Stadium here as he bowled off-breaks to the left-handers from round the wicket and left-arm orthodox spin to the right-handed Stoinis, also from around the wicket for a left-arm bowler.
As per MCC rules, a batsman when he plays switch hit is not required to intimate the umpire or the bowler but when the bowler changes his arm from right to left, the batsman needs to be told beforehand.
Karnewar's skills are well known at the domestic level as it was first discovered during last year's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy when BCCI's official website posted a clip showing him both off-spin and left-arm spin.
Having begun his career as an off-spinner who batted and threw left-handed, Karnewar was eventually convinced to try left-arm bowling as well and he's used both methods throughout his career.