IPL 2016: Ashwin takes the cue from Dhoni ahead of opener against Mumbai

  • Kushal Phatarpekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2016 15:30 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin bowls in the nets during a practice session in Bengaluru. (Reuters Photo)

Just days after India skipper MS Dhoni created a scene on being asked an uncomfortable question, R Ashwin joined the bandwagon by losing his cool at a press conference on Friday.

“You struggled with dew the last time you were at the Wankhede. How do you plan to counter that this time,” was the query directed at Ashwin.

The question was justified as Ashwin had struggled in the semifinal of the WT20, as did the other India bowlers, allowing the West Indies to romp to victory.

“When there was dew I did not bowl,” was Ashwin’s response. “It is better you ask someone who actually bowled to be very honest. I don’t know how it felt with the dew on. It’s very amusing because with the first 12 balls I bowled, I created a wicket opportunity as well,” he retorted.

The next question on MS Dhoni citing dew as one of the reasons for not using him in the match was met with a curt “I don’t know what the captain said”.

Ashwin was not finished. At the conclusion of the press conference, he confronted the journalist who had asked the question.

“I am not blaming you, but you should be responsible about what you write as millions of people read it and form an opinion,” said Ashwin. “I do not want controversy, but you could have formed the question differently.”

Pulling up journalists for asking uncomfortable questions has become a norm for India’s elite cricketers. As he lost his cool, Ashwin also showed his unhappiness over not getting his quota of overs during the semifinal loss.

Among the regular bowlers, only Ashwin did not finish his quota, bowling just two. Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja bowled four overs apiece. In fact, Dhoni chose to hand the ball to part-timer Virat Kohli twice, including the final over of the West Indies innings.

Ashwin and Dhoni have been teammates for a while. At the Chennai Super Kings, the partnership was a successful one. In the lead-up to the WT20, Ashwin had been Dhoni’s most trusted wicket-taker. However, in the latter stages of the World T20 his performance did not quite yield desired results.

They will now play together at the newly-formed Rising Pune Supergiants, where Dhoni will lead once again.

This is not the first time Ashwin has admonished journalists for asking pointed questions. In the past, he had criticised the media for focusing on turning tracks in India and not talking about the green wickets in South Africa.

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