Indian Premier League

One no-ball doesn't make a villain, says R. Ashwin

Moments after India’s semifinal exit from the World Twenty20 at the Wankhede Stadium barely 10 days ago, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had lamented his spinners’ inability to cope while bowling in dewy conditions.

As Dhoni and R. Ashwin, India’s premier spinner who bowled just two overs in the semifinal against the West Indies, returned to Wankhede ahead of Saturday’s IPL opener, it was inevitable that the focus would be on that fateful night.

Despite sharing the India and the franchise dressing room with Dhoni, Ashwin didn’t really agree with his captain’s views. When asked how he is planning to counter the dew on Saturday night since he “struggled” in the semifinal, Ashwin retorted, “When there was dew, I didn’t bowl. Its better you ask the question to someone who actually bowled.

“To be very honest, I don’t know how it felt with the dew on. It’s very amusing. Because in the first 12 balls I bowled, I created a wicket opportunity as well. It’s quite surprising how you phrase your question.”

When the reporter reminded him that Dhoni said dew had affected the spinners’ bowling, Ashwin said, “I don’t know what he said.”

Dhoni, after India’s loss to the West Indies, had said, “As the dew comes in it becomes difficult for them to turn the ball.

“The seam gets wet and the surface becomes a bit greasy so it comes onto the bat nicely. I feel we have seen that our spinners do struggle in conditions like these… It was quite evident. Ash only bowled two overs, [Ravindra] Jadeja we were forced to bowl the last quota of his overs otherwise he would have only bowled three overs.”

Villain? Not me!

Besides the dew factor, Ashwin faced flak from experts like Sunil Gavaskar for bowling a no-ball off which eventual man-of-the-match Lendl Simmons was caught on March 31. The articulate bowler said he got over the episode in no time.

“The day I went back home, my dog had a heat stroke. He had fits. It just showed me what’s more important and what is very, very important in life,” Ashwin said.

“I didn’t turn a piece of paper for next three days. I don’t know what’s been said. There have been good-enough journalists, and knowledgeable people who called me and said I haven’t bowled a no ball in ages. To have bowled one no ball, I don’t become a villain! If that’s the perception, I don’t know how to counter that.”

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 8:29:42 AM |

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