R Ashwin believes Dhoni groomed him well

Chennai: In a few hours from now India will be witness to yet another season of trailblazing IPL frenzy.  On March 22, the first match of IPL will be played between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. Earlier, Team India’s experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has thanked former Indian captain MS Dhoni for helping him become one of the best spinners in the world. Ashwin said that he will always be ‘indebted’ to CSK captain MS Dhoni.

R Ashwin was a part of the CSK team in the initial season, but he did not get a chance to play then. Then, in 2009, he made his debut against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Cape Town. Ashwin said that in 2008 I met great players Matthew Hayden and MS Dhoni in the dressing room of CSK. I was nothing then, where could I play in a team which had Muttiah Muralitharan. But ‘I will be indebted to Dhoni throughout my life for the opportunities he gave me.

In fact, CSK captain Dhoni, who is adept in making his strategy, had given the new ball to Ashwin in the 2011 IPL final and this budding off-spinner had taken the wicket of in-form Chris Gayle on the very fourth ball. That magical night at Chepauk for Chennai Super Kings was just the beginning for Ashwin and in the decade-long journey since then, he has played 100 Tests and taken 516 wickets in the format.

Ashwin, who made his Test debut against West Indies in November 2011, became the 14th Indian player to play 100 Test matches for India in the fifth Test against England in Dharamsala last week. Ashwin has also become the second bowler after experienced off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to take 500 wickets in less than 100 Test matches.

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