Indian Express Daily

R Ashwin says he feels “indebted for the rest of my life” to MS Dhoni for giving him such a huge opportunity on his debut

<p>Cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin recounted how, 13 years ago, he would always be grateful to India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for having trust in a “nobody” at the fecilitation ceremony hosted by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-518737″ src=”×422.jpg” alt=” r ashwin says he feels indebted for the rest of my life to ms dhoni for giving him” width=”994″ height=”560″ title=”R Ashwin says he feels "indebted for the rest of my life" to MS Dhoni for giving him such a huge opportunity on his debut 6″ srcset=”×422.jpg 750w,×576.jpg 1024w,×432.jpg 768w,×220.jpg 390w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 994px) 100vw, 994px” /></p>
<p>Having played in 100 Test matches, Ashwin has established himself as a superstar in Indian cricket and is ranked second only to the legendary Anil Kumble in terms of most wickets taken in the five-day format.</p>
<p>Living in the same dressing room as the great Muttiah Muralitharan, Ashwin was brought in by Chennai Super Kings in 2008 as a local spinner. Ashwin just passed the 500-wicket barrier.</p>
<p>When Dhoni gave Ashwin the new ball in the 2011 IPL final matchup against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the rookie off-spinner made an impression by removing an impressive Chris Gayle. He played his first game for India under captain Dhoni that same year, winning player of the match in the Delhi encounter against the West Indies.</p>
<p>2008 saw me meet two of the greatest, MS Dhoni and Mathew Hayden, in the dressing room of CSK. 2008 was the IPL that I watched. “I was a nobody back then, so where am I to play in a team with Muttiah Muralitharan?” said an emotional Ashwin, who was honored for his uncommon accomplishments at a lavish event hosted by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.</p>
<p>“I will always be grateful to Dhoni for what he has done for me. He gave me the chance to go on Chris Gayle head-on with the new ball, and 17 years later, Anil bhai and I would be talking about the same incident,” he recounted with nostalgia.</p>
<p>For Ashwin, the Chennai Super Kings’ incredible Chepauk night was only the start. Several celebrities, both past and present, paid homage to him, so it seems sense that Ashwin felt overtaken.</p>
<p>“Normally, I don’t look for words to describe my emotions. I’m really appreciative and honored to be here,” he joked.</p>
<p>One of the best thinkers in the game, the 37-year-old Chennai native has a knack for self-reinvention and has amassed a large number of wickets in the longest format.</p>
<p>He defined himself as a debater, but only while seeking fresh insights.</p>
<p>Anil bhai and Rahul (Dravid) bhai said, in passing, that they find it difficult to win arguments with me. It’s accurate since, in my opinion, debate is one of the best methods to achieve greatness.</p>
<p>“The individual is never in the argument. He said, “As Kumble observed from the stage, the real lesson usually comes at the conclusion of it.</p>
<p>A number of legendary figures from Tamil Nadu, including his first-class captain S Badrinath and former batsman S Sharath, who is now an India selector, were also praised by Ashwin.</p>
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