Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin have played a lot of cricket together during the past five years representing India in all three formats of the game and also being teammates at Chennai Super Kings. They have also been picked to represent the new franchise Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) because they have worked well together and delivered results consistently.
However any observant cricket fan will notice that MS Dhoni appears to have lost confidence in his ace spinner after under bowling him during the two knockout games in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. Dhoni did exactly the same thing during the RPS’s first game against the Mumbai Indians on April 9 by giving R Ashwin just one over.
Dhoni has been diplomatic and crafty at the same time by justifying his decision to under-bowl Ashwin by stating that he wanted to give the young leggie who is also called Ashwin more overs at the crease as he has faith in R Ashwin to deliver whenever he is called upon. However this explanation does not appear very logical as it’s happened on three consecutive occasions and Ashwin has been picked in the side to bowl his four overs.
While Dhoni explained his decision of not bowling Ashwin in the T20 world cup due to the due factor, Ashwin told the media that the due factor wasn’t a problem as he sent down his first over when there was no due at all but was then pulled out of the attack. He also stated that he had no idea of what MS Dhoni said about the due factor and preferred to not speak on the subject anymore.
Dhoni has had his share of differences with a number of players over the years and most of them no longer feature in the Indian squad. Players like Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh who were once regulars in the Indian squad have not had the captain’s backing which resulted in their international careers going downhill.
R Ashwin was at the peak of his powers in 2015 and an automatic pick in all three format of the game. However considering the fact that he is not getting a lot of overs in the T20 format and has lost the captain’s trust; the off-spinner could end up having a rough time at the new franchise unless he manages to work things out with Dhoni quickly.