IPL: Dhoni gives Ashwin the cold shoulder again at Wankhede
On Saturday, in the opening game against Mumbai Indians, Dhoni gave Ashwin just one over on a track where the ball darted and helped both pacers and spinners. Ashwin didn’t bowl until the 16th over.ipl Updated: Apr 10, 2016 09:51 IST
Ahead of the World T20, Ravichandran Ashwin was MS Dhoni’s go-to man, be it with India or Chennai Super Kings. So, it came as no surprise when Ashwin was picked by the Dhoni-led Rising Pune Supergiants.
However, it appears Dhoni doesn’t have the old confidence in Ashwin. On Saturday, in the opening game against Mumbai Indians, Dhoni gave Ashwin just one over on a track where the ball darted and helped both pacers and spinners. Ashwin didn’t bowl until the 16th over. The pacers had already caused an MI top-order collapse.
Dhoni bowled novice spinner Murugan Ashwin ahead of his famous namesake. M Ashwin, making his IPL debut, completed his full quota of overs, returning one for 16.
R Ashwin took a wicket off his first delivery, but still didn’t get a second over. A lack of trust seems to be brewing between Dhoni and Ashwin. In India’s World T20 semifinal loss to West Indies at the Wankhede stadium, Ashwin was given only two overs. Dhoni had claimed he had to shield the spinners because of dew.
Ashwin, though, dismissed the claim on Friday. In the pre-match press conference, the 29-year-old said he never got to bowl after the dew set in.
“When there was dew, I did not bowl,” Ashwin said. “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.”
When told that Dhoni had cited dew for not bowling him again, Ashwin was curt: “I don’t know what the captain said.”
On Saturday, there was little dew due to a strong breeze, at least during Mumbai’s innings.
Ashwin’s outburst on Friday, and Dhoni giving him just one over, hints that all may not be well between the old partners.
With a long season ahead, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.