Blackcaps v Sri Lanka: Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi reaps rewards of re-invented bowling action

Blackcaps spin bowler Ish Sodhi is embracing a new bowling action, as he looks to stake his claim for World Cup selection in India this year.

Sodhi, 30, has been a regular for New Zealand in white-ball cricket, but his re-emergence in the game's longest format has him peaking at the right time.

The leg-spinner was recalled to the test team for the tour of Pakistan after a four-year absence and played a starring role in the drawn series, finishing as the series' highest wicket-taker, with 13 at an average of 25 runs, including a 'six-for' in the first match.

"It was massive, just the fact that I hadn't played test cricket in so long," he said. "There was probably a period where I was wondering when it was going to come again.

"To have that opportunity to go out there and play again, and also have the courage to take a new bowling run-up into that series, without having the chance to do it at home.

"It was massive for me in terms of moving forward, but it's just great to be back in that test environment again and hopefully now, moving onto the white-ball stuff, it's just taking some of that confidence into that too."

Much of his success can be attributed to his willingness to re-invent his bowling run-up, despite an already successful international career.

Instead of walking in to create momentum, Sodhi now runs in about five paces to generate more speed through the air.

With many of his teammates either off to the Indian Premier League or other overseas commitments, he will be right at home, honing his newfound action.

"The biggest thing for me at the moment is to really get used to my new bowling run-up," he said.

Ish Sodhi celebrates a wicket against Pakistan.
Ish Sodhi celebrates a wicket against Pakistan. Photo credit: Getty

"I bowled a certain way for 18 years and changed it last year. I've only been doing it for a year, and it's great to have had success already internationally.

"It shows it's the right way forward, but it's just about really understanding that action and using biomechanics to get the most out of it.

"It's really fun, it's something that's been really enjoyable. It's something different to focus on, I'm doing it to keep up with international cricket.

"It's changed so much in the 10 years that I've played, it's just about adapting as much as I can.

"Maybe that's bowling a little bit quicker, bowling different variations and getting more energy on the ball. I think that's really important for me moving forward."

Join Newshub at noon Sunday for live updates of the Blackcaps v Sri Lanka T20 opener