Murugan Ashwin: 'What’s the harm if I bowl in the nets?'

The cricketing fraternity was curious about Murugan Ashwin when he was picked up by Rising Pune Supergiant for Rs. 4.5 crore. The curiosity fizzled out fast as he was benched throughout the 2017 season by Delhi Daredevils. This experience, Ashwin feels, has taught him a lot.

Murugan Ashwin was seen bowling a few deliveries to the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, along with rookies, in the nets ahead of the India-Australia game.

From just another rookie spinner to one of the talked about cricketers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) circuit, life seemed one big bag of memories for Murugan Ashwin when he was picked by the Rising Pune Supergiant for a whopping Rs 4.5 crore in 2016.

When the 27-year-old leg-spinner was snapped by the IPL franchise, which then had Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its skipper, the cricketing fraternity was curious about Ashwin.

Curiosity fizzled out fast as he was benched throughout the 2017 season by Delhi Daredevils, who bought him for Rs. 1 crore. But the experience, Ashwin feels, has taught him a lot.

Ashwin was back at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday afternoon, albeit as a net bowler. Ashwin was seen bowling a few deliveries to the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, along with rookies.

“The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) had called me to bowl at the nets. That’s why I came here,” Ashwin told Sportstar, as he got into his SUV after the practice session.

Not just on Friday, Ashwin was there at the nets on Thursday morning too. “I bowled to the Australian batsmen. They wanted some leggie to bowl them, that’s why I was asked to come,” Ashwin said. "It was a good experience."

It's believed that captain Steve Smith, Ashwin's former teammate at Rising Pune Supergiant, would've summoned him.

The IPL may have given him enough money to afford a luxury car and some properties, but has it given him enough cricketing opportunities?

“Every opportunity counts. What’s the harm if I bowl in the nets? The idea is to be in the game and I am just doing that,” Ashwin said.

As he walked into the arena, he was greeted by Ajinkya Rahane — his former team-mate at the Pune franchise. The two talked for a few minutes before Ashwin got busy bowling to the Indian batsmen. “It doesn’t matter if I have played the IPL or not. I am always game for new things,” he said.

Selfie-crazy fans gathered near the practice arena as the Indian stars got done for the day. Ashwin walked out of the zone, rather silently. Nobody, except a few TNCA employees, could identify this young talent, who had made heads turn last year.

Well, that's what life is all about.