I am indebted to MS Dhoni for the rest of my life: Ashwin | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: In 2011 initial loading final against Royal Challengers Bangalore, MS Dhonithe master of original strategies, surprised everyone by handing over the new ball to Ravichandran Ashwin. The decision proved crucial as the young player made an immediate impact, dismissing the formidable Chris Gayle on the fourth ball of the contest.
That memorable evening at the Chepauk Stadium marked the beginning of Ashwin’s journey with the Chennai Super Kings, but it was only the beginning of his illustrious career. Over a decade later, Ashwin embarked on a remarkable roller coaster journey, culminating with an impressive total of 100 Test matches and an astonishing 516 wickets in the traditional format.
At a felicitation ceremony organized by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) to celebrate his remarkable achievements of 500 wickets and a Test century, Ashwin took a moment to reflect on the trust and belief that Dhoni showed in him all those years ago.
“I usually don’t look for words to express how I feel. I am truly honored and grateful to be here,” Ashwin, who received Rs 1 crore from TNCA for his rare achievements, said in a voice immersed in emotion. .
Paying tribute to his first IPL skipper Dhoni, Ashwin said: “In 2008, I met all the greats (in the CSK dressing room) Mathew Hayden and MS Dhoni. I attended (IPL) 2008 .I was nobody then, where am I. playing in a team that had Muttiah Muralitharan.
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“I am indebted to Dhoni for the rest of my life for what he gave me. He gave me the opportunity with the new ball to face Chris Gayle and 17 years later, Anil Bhai would be talking about the same episode,” he said. fondly recalled.
Ashwin was signed as a local spinner in 2008 by CSK, but he never got a match as the legendary Muralitharan led their spin attack.
The 37-year-old from Chennai is among the best thinkers in the game and he has found a way to constantly reinvent himself, which has resulted in a bag of wickets in the longest format.
“Anil Bhai and Rahul (Dravid) Bhai briefly mentioned it. It is very difficult to win an argument with me. This is true because I believe that argument is one of the greatest paths to excellence .The argument is never with the person. It’s always the case. with the real learning coming at the end,” he said as Kumble looked on from the stage.
Ashwin also thanked a host of Tamil Nadu greats, who were among the gathering, including his first first-class captain S Badrinath and former batter S Sharath, who is now India selector.
Ashwin, who is particularly lethal against left-handers, said Sharath helped him become a better bowler against left-handers.
“A lot of people talked about how I tormented left-handers day in and day out. On my first date with left-handers, Mr S Sharath is sitting at the front. Someone told me that if you are so good, try to get this man out.
“I got him out once, caught by slip and played several more games with Sharath, he never got me out again. That’s the quality of the hitter he was. I played a lot against him and so I became a much better bowler.
Such is Ashwin’s commitment to TN and club cricket, till date he makes himself available for these national events when he is not on national duty.
“This place has given me so much that I want to keep coming back here. People keep asking me why do you want to go back. Tomorrow I may not be alive but my soul will hang out in this place. That’s what this place means to me,” added Ashwin.
(With inputs from PTI)

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