Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the finest off-spinners India has ever produced. Ashwin plays for the Indian cricket team in the longest format of the game. Recently in a conversation with Harsha Bhogle for Cricbuzz, Ashwin talked about his journey in the Indian Premier League in detail. The International cricketer started his IPL stint with MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. He joined CSK in 2009 but couldn’t find a permanent place in the playing XI. It was only from 2010 that Ashwin became s go-to-man of MS Dhoni for CSK.
Talking about his journey in Chennai Super Kings, Ashwin revealed that he was fascinated with the way Dhoni hit sixes to Muttiah Muralitharan. Describing the atmosphere at CSK’s camp, Ashwin said MS used to whack every single ball and was not as calculative as he is today.
Ashwin told Harsha, “I would be waiting in the queue at the MA Chidambaram stadium where there was a net behind the stadium and one where they practice right next to the match turf. So MS and Suresh always batted at the center. Queuing up to bowl to them at the center was some sort of a yardstick. We didn’t always get to do that. But when I did that for the first time, I was bowling alongside Muttiah Muralitharan.”
“Every time Murali bowled to MS, MS hit the ball long. MS of today is a lot more calculated but I have seen him back then where he used to whack every single ball. Every time Murali dragged the length back, MS hit it farther. I hadn’t seen anybody hit the ball that far and that was very new in that era. To hit sixes was something we weren’t taught as youngsters,”, the 33-year-old added.
The all-rounder further explained how his confidence helped him in being in the good books of MS Dhoni. Ashwin recalled that he always used to motivate himself saying that if he plays better than the legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, then he had a chance playing ahead of him.
Ashwin added, “MS Dhoni did not know who Ashwin was. I had to catch the eye of MS Dhoni. So if I had caught the eyes of MS Dhoni, I had the best chance. I used to think if I bowl better, I would get to play ahead of Murali. It is just the way everyone wires themselves. And it’s not that I trained myself to be wired that way, but I never saw myself inferior to anyone walking into the side. That’s how it worked,”