Ashwin: Bowling one no-ball doesn’t make me a villain

Besides the dew factor, Ashwin faced the flak from experts like Sunil Gavaskar for bowling a no-ball of which eventual Man of the Match Lendl Simmons was caught during the World T20 semifinals.

R. Ashwin   -  PTI

Moments after India’s semifinal exit from the World T20 at the Wankhede Stadium, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had lamented about Indian spinners’ inability to cope while bowling in dewy conditions. As Dhoni and R. Ashwin, India’s premier spinner who bowled just two overs in the semifinal against the West Indies, returned to Wankhede ahead of Saturday’s IPL opener, it was inevitable that the focus would be on that fateful night.

Despite sharing the India and the franchise dressing room with Dhoni, Ashwin didn’t really agree with his captain’s views. When asked how he was planning to counter the dew on Saturday night after “struggling” in the World T20 semifinal, Ashwin retorted: “When there was dew, I didn’t bowl. It’s better you ask the question to someone who actually bowled. To be very honest, I don’t know how it felt with the dew on. It’s very amusing because in the first 12 balls I bowled, I created a wicket opportunity as well. It’s quite surprising how you phrase your question.”

When the reporter reminded him about Dhoni’s remarks that dew had affected the spinners’ bowling, Ashwin said, “I don’t know what he said.”

Dhoni, after India’s loss to the West Indies, had said, “As the dew comes in, it becomes difficult for them to turn the ball. The seam gets wet and the surface becomes a bit greasy so it comes onto the bat nicely. I feel we have seen that our spinners do struggle in conditions like these… It was quite evident.”

Villain? Not me!

Besides the dew factor, Ashwin faced the flak from experts like Sunil Gavaskar for bowling a no-ball off which eventual Man of the Match Lendl Simmons was caught during the semifinals. The articulate bowler said he got over the episode in no time.

“The day I went back home, my dog had a heat stroke. He had fits. It just showed me what’s more important and what is very very important in life,” Ashwin said. “I didn’t turn a piece of paper for next three days. I don’t know what’s been said. There have been good-enough journalists, and knowledgeable people who called me and said I haven’t bowled a no ball in ages. To have bowled one no ball, I don’t become a villain! If that’s the perception, I don’t know how to counter that.”