File images of R Ashwin and Virat Kohli(Twitter/IPL)
File images of R Ashwin and Virat Kohli(Twitter/IPL)

‘He would never take chances against me’: R Ashwin reveals how he once ‘set up’ Virat Kohli

R Ashwin recalled his experience of bowling to Virat Kohli, revealing how for the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, not giving his wicket to the off-spinner is a ‘matter of pride’.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2020 08:44 AM IST

R Ashwin is believed to have one of the sharpest cricketing brains in world cricket. The off-spinner, who represented Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020 has revealed how he has always loved bowling against two of Indian cricket’s finest batsmen, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. The IPL makes for some rare and fascinating contests, since it allows national teammates to pit themselves against each other.

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Ashwin recalled his experience of bowling to Kohli, revealing how for the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, not giving his wicket to the off-spinner is a ‘matter of pride’.

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“I have always loved bowling to Virat. He would never take chances against me. Would not give his wicket; it was a matter of pride for him. MS Dhoni also, is like that. In Pune, 2016, I set him up with a ball outside off and it went really high and just as I was thinking, ‘Aaha, kohli wicket’, Ankit Sharma let the ball slip through his hands at extra-cover! Ai! What have you done!,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

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2016 was the season when Kohli had a superlative IPL season, hammering 973 runs including four centuries and played a crucial role in RCB’s road to the final. Those are the most runs by any individual player in a single season of the IPL

During the IPL 2020 when the Capitals faced RCB for the second time, Ashwin picked up Kohli’s wicket. It was the 55th match of the season – the penultimate game of the league stage and even though the Capitals emerged victorious by six wickets, both teams advanced into the Playoffs. Kohli finished IPL 2020 with 466 runs, the second-highest run-getter for RCB, behind youngster Devdutt Padikkal.

Ashwin did not have a bad season himself. Having played for Kings XI Punjab last year, Ashwin was traded to DC. The off-spinner played 15 matches and picked up 13 wickets at an average of 12.33. He was mostly employed bowling inside the Powerplay and more often than not provided his team early breakthroughs.

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