Ashwin reveals having an issue with Stephen Fleming: Former Super Kings spinner disclosed an interesting anecdote from IPL 2010.
During the 18th match of the third season of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings in Bengaluru, Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen in Robin Uthappa and Mark Boucher had attacked Chennai Super Kings spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to score 40 runs off his four overs.
Having scored 68* (38) with the help of three fours and six sixes, Uthappa had dominated the visiting bowlers as RCB smashed 67 runs in the last five overs to score 171/5 in 20 overs.
As an aftermath of losing the match by 36 runs, Super Kings dropped Ashwin for the ploy of giving him the death overs wasn’t yielding favourable results for the team.
Speaking during a podcast with former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar for ESPNcricinfo, Ashwin admitted that getting dropped after two poor performances was “hard slap”.
“Robin Uthappa and Mark Boucher taught me harsh lessons as I bowled 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th over vs RCB. That youth in me never told me that it was a challenge. I found it as an opportunity to pick wickets.
“I didn’t get wickets but went for 40 or 45 runs and put my team into a hole as the next game went into Super Over and we lost it and I was dropped from the squad. It felt like a hard slap,” Ashwin was quoted as saying during the podcast at ESPNcricinfo.
Ashwin reveals having an issue with Stephen Fleming
It is worth mentioning that franchises used to not take along all their reserves for away matches back in the day. As a result, Ashwin had to vacate the hotel in Chennai and instead watch the match on TV from home.
“I was dropped, I vacated the hotel and was sitting at home. I thought that I deserved better as I was in the 30 probables for the 2010 World T20 in West Indies [which started five days after IPL 2010 finished],” Ashwin said.
Laying emphasis on not getting the apt backing from Super Kings, Ashwin revealed having an issue with coach Stephen Fleming for not having a chat before dropping him.
Thank you @ashwinravi99 Sir for the great session. My son Aarya Kavathia is so excited about attending your session organized by @Descubs_GenNext. Great initiative during lockdown. He is looking forward to get more cricketing ideas from you. #InspireGeneration for #Cricket pic.twitter.com/YFgHOxAvck
— Darshit Kavathia (@i_Darshit) April 24, 2020
“Like I thought, why didn’t you [CSK] back me? I did exceedingly well in first three games and I had just had two bad games. Anybody can be hit for a couple of games.
“Actually, I had an issue with Stephen Fleming that he didn’t have a chat. I valued him so much and he didn’t have a chat. So I was sitting at home watching CSK games and making promises in my head that one day I will turn the tide,” Ashwin added.
After missing four matches in the season, Ashwin was recalled into the XI against Mumbai Indians at home. Having picked 13 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 22.53, an economy rate of 6.10 and a strike rate of 22.15, Ashwin was the second-highest wicket-taker (only behind Muttiah Muralitharan) for CSK in a season when they lifted their maiden IPL trophy.
It is worth mentioning that Ashwin made his limited-overs debut for India less than three months after IPL 2010. Ashwin, who made his IPL debut for Chennai in 2009, represented the franchise till 2015. In 96 matches for Super Kings, Ashwin dismissed 90 batsmen at an average of 24.22, an economy rate of 6.46 and a strike rate of 22.51.