Cricket: England are being urged to ignore the hype about Ravichandran Ashwin's new "mystery ball" and play the India off-spinner on his merits.
Alastair Cook and his fellow batsmen could be forgiven for some uncertainty on reading headlines in India today about Ashwin's latest delivery and his intention to unveil it in Thursday's first of four Tests.
But they need only have a quick chat with their own spin wizard, slow-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, to conclude that they should not start fretting just yet.
Ashwin is already adept at the "carrom ball," popularised by Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis.
Asked about his new prototype delivery, the 26-year-old told the Times of India: "I have been working on that ball for some time now. I might just use it in this series."
But England assistant coach Richard Halsall spent enough time on the Sussex staff with Pakistani leg-spinner Mushtaq to know some of the tricks of the trade are purely verbal.
"I was very fortunate to spend a few years with Mushtaq at Sussex, and Mushy would have a 'mystery ball' every week," he said.
"He'd show it to the opposition in the nets - and as we'd wander off he'd say 'that's just my leg-spinner'."
Halsall added: "If he has got a mystery ball, that's fantastic for him. But I'm sure our batsmen will watch him carefully and deal with each ball as it comes."
England are still waiting on the fitness of seamers Steven Finn and Stuart Broad, who are recovering from thigh and heel injuries, but both bowled off a full run in the nets yesterday.
"Steven and Stuart both looked fairly hostile," said Halsall.
"We'll monitor them over the next two days."
Off-spinner Graeme Swann was back with the squad today after briefly returning to Britain while his baby daughter was unwell.