Exciting Casey-South Melbourne spinner Ashvin Adihetty’s journey through the ranks of Premier Cricket has been about steady improvement and a burning desire to continue taking the next step.
It’s why, when the 2020/21 season does eventually kick off, the talented youngster from Berwick Springs will be hoping he can make a statement.
Fresh off being named in the Victorian Under-19 Male Emerging Performance squad, after excellent improvement at club level last season, Adihetty said he was honoured to be part of the squad which recognises some of the most exciting talent in the state.
“I was pretty happy to be in the squad,” he said.
“The name’s that are there (in the squad) are pretty big.”
And at Youth Premier League level, Adihetty has shone in the last two Under 18 Carnivals, snaring 23 wickets from 12 games in the shortened format at an average of 7.5, topping the wickets in the state in 2018/19 and finishing fourth last season.
But ambition is continuing to drive the left-arm spinner in 2020/21.
It’s been obvious from his early cricketing days that he’ll do whatever it takes to keep improving.
His journey began at his local club, Berwick Springs, over a decade ago, where as a six-year-old he was part of the club’s under-11 side.
Despite not initially bamboozling with his spin bowling, Adihetty made a change during his junior days.
And it was a change that has been the catalyst for his rise up the ranks.
“Throughout my juniors, up until my last season of under-15s, I was bowling medium pace,” he said.
“I started realising that I wasn’t growing much, I was probably the shortest in the team most of the time, and a few coaches spoke to me and asked me to try the spin stuff.
“From there, that’s where my cricket improved, my batting improved a bit too, and then I was going off to Premier Cricket.”
Adihetty has studied some of the top-line bowlers that have played the game, and upon taking up the art of spin bowling, believes he has taken plenty of lessons from those players past and present.
“I’ve watched a fair bit of Dan Vettori in particular (ex-New Zealand great),” he said.
“He’s very consistent, and he thinks a lot about his next ball, and how he’s going to beat the batsman.
“I think I’ve learnt a lot watching him, different techniques, grips, and I’ve taken a lot from him.”
After arriving at Casey Fields for 2017/18 and being welcomed into the club with open arms, the spinner made his first XI debut the next season, snaring 2/36 against Kingston Hawthorn in a promising performance.
He added to that first XI tally with a match in the final round last season, while also impressing with a pair of SuperSlam matches too.
“In my first year I had no idea what to expect, coming fresh out of Berwick Springs, but I was really welcomed by a lot of first XI boys straight away,” he said.
“Even in pre-season, it felt like I was always there – the boys were so helpful and helped me grow into the club, and then my (first XI) debut was a good start.
“There’s such a massive difference between second XI, third XI cricket, which I was told to expect, but I didn’t realise just how much of a different standard it actually is.
“And playing against Uni last year really showed the top level, they’re a great side.”
But that taste at top-flight Victorian Premier Cricket has made Adihetty even hungrier entering this season.
With the season to be played in a one-day format, Adihetty said he was working hard on his white-ball craft despite not being able to work with coaches at training just yet as he strives to lock down a position in the firsts and add an edge to what could be a bit of a new-look side.
“I’m still working hard on it – in one-day cricket it can be iffy for spinners, so it can go either way,” he explained.
“I’ve been trying to continue working with the white ball – in my junior years bowling mediums I’ve always been that consistent bowler and dotting them up.
“When I moved to spin that kept going, the economy is still keeping pretty low – but for me, something to work on would be the wicket taking in one-dayers.
“I do want my one-day economy to be better though. For me bowling in two-day, sometimes it does take that little bit longer to get into the game, but in one-day, you’ve got nine, ten overs and it’s just about adapting that bit quicker to the wicket.”
He said with plenty of encouragement from the coaches and his desire to improve his bowling, excitement is building for the 2020/21 season.
“BK (head coach Brian Keogh) really spoke to me last year about pushing into the ones, and sometimes it can get a bit hard at selection, because batsmen are making runs and wickets being taken, and Casey’s wicket at times isn’t bowler friendly so it does get hard,” he said.
“But BK is a big support for me to help me push on and get picked in the ones, and he spoke to me about looking to change my lengths, variations and that kind of stuff to take me to the next level.”
With the Swans looking to break back into the finals, Adihetty said that with this group, and the depth and power in one-day cricket, there is plenty of reason for excitement.
“It’s exciting, the 17-round one dayers,” he said.
“Throughout all four grades, we’ve got a really attacking group of players, and a lot of young boys as well coming through.
“And we’ve got the likes of Jordy Wyatt, Dyl Hadfield, good one-day white ball players, so the mentality is there.
“We’ve got a really strong, powerful side I reckon.”