Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and skipper MS Dhoni formed a successful alliance during their stint together at Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and then Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS).
Ashwin was in the fringe squad of the Chennai-based franchise during the initial years of the tournament. In fact, Ashwin got only a couple of games in the 2009 IPL season, playing second-fiddle to spin-wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.
The Tamil Nadu ace made his mark in the cash-rich league in the subsequent 2010 IPL season where he picked up 13 wickets in 12 games. CSK won their first IPL trophy in the season.
Since then, Ash didn’t look back and went on to become a regular feature in the lineup of both CSK and the Indian team, under Dhoni.
In the 139 matches he played thus far, Ashwin picked up 125 wickets at an exceptional economy rate of 6.7.
“MS Dhoni did not know who Ashwin was. I had to catch the eye of MS Dhoni. So if I had caught the eyes of MS Dhoni, I had the best chance,” Ashwin told Harsha Bhogle, during a chat on Cricbuzz.
However, Ashwin and Dhoni parted ways after the 2018 mega-auctions of the IPL. The CSK franchise bagged Harbhajan Singh after releasing their icon player.
Ashwin then made a move north in the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) franchise, being bought at INR 7.6 crores.
Following a couple of disappointing seasons, Ashwin is now seeking new challenges, after being purchased by the Delhi Capitals (DC). Ashwin joins fellow Test specialists Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari and Ishant Sharma in the Capitals’ roster.
“There are other factors, the owners did feel I haven’t delivered, which is true because I could not take the team through to the playoffs in both the seasons. You can give excuses why we could not do that, but I am someone who takes it under my chin and admits that ‘yes I couldn’t deliver.’ The trade was more initiated rather my doing,” Ashwin concluded.