Ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said he always wanted to grab Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s attention during his starting days at Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the iconic former India captain always maintained that the off-spinner was exceptionally skillful.
“MS always maintained that you are exceptionally skilful and you should keep doing what you do,” Ashwin told Harsha Bhogle on “Cricbuzz in Conversation”.
“IPL and CSK is a stage that everyone wants. For me it was more about recognition. MSD did not know who Ashwin is, (Matthew) Hayden and (Muttiah) Muralithan did not know who Ashwin is. The first thing that came to my mind was that ‘I will show these people that Ashwin is here’, said Ashwin who got his contract with CSK, one of the most successful IPL sides, in 2008.
“I don’t know it was being foolish or arrogant but that was how I was made. Nobody was giving me a chance that Ashwin would play alongside Muralitharan or ahead of Muralitharan. I thought, I will get there ahead of him one day,” he added.
Talking about Dhoni, Ashwin said he got him out during a Challenger Trophy game and that is when he caught the World Cup winning captain’s eye. “I never had massive interactions with him. It was going to the nets and getting MSD… he was hitting Muralitharan out of the park and I thought, if I bowl better than him, I may get to play ahead of Murali.”
“I got his attention when I got him during a Challenger Trophy and celebrated like a crazy kid,” he recalled.
Ashwin also spoke about CSK’s match against Victoria Bushrangers in the now defunct Champions League when he offered to bowl the Super Over and Dhoni obliged.
Ashwin did not fare well and ended up conceding 23 runs. He said when Dhoni walked past him after the match, he said: “You should have bowled the carrom ball.”