R. Ashwin has been India’s most improved cricketer in recent times and the tall off spinner has emerged as a genuine match winner for the men in blue. Ashwin had a phenomenal 2015 and his records across all the formats have been brilliant. But, the one person, behind that success of Ashwin, has been MS Dhoni, who had great faith in the spinner, even when he was not getting enough success and was struggling.
Speaking before the team’s departure to Australia, Dhoni was highly optimistic about Ashwin. Dhoni showered praises on Ashwin and termed him as a “thinking cricketer”. ” Ashwin is slightly different. He is a thinking cricketer,” Dhoni said. “He thinks a lot about his bowling which is a positive. When he started, he started off really well and to some extent he slightly went down and that was the time when he was criticised a lot for his variations and everything.”
“But you also have to realise that when you are new, not many people know about you. With the videos and everything, people tend to know more about you, gather more information about you, how you bowl, what your variations are,” he added.
Dhoni also reminded that Ashwin had found success due to altering his variations well. “I kept telling him that ‘to me the only difference is, for example, if you are bowling all your variations in 2×4 area now you are bowling 4×6 ft area. That is the only thing lacking. Other than that, you don’t have to worry about. It is bound to happen. Just focus on your bowling and you will be good.”
“He is not someone who has bowled after the 10 from 11th to 35th. I have used him in the first 10 and also from 40-45. He just makes my job slightly easy, especially for a consistent period of time when my fast bowlers have not done well. It is good to have him and I think he is a great asset to the side irrespective of the format,” Dhoni concluded.