Chennai: Our Chennai boy Ravichandran Ashwin has been in the form of his career over 2016, ending the year on an epic high, as he was named both Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year at the ICC Annual Awards to unanimous cheer.
However, the bowling all-rounder found himself in a bit of a soup yesterday — when quite suddenly, fans of M.S Dhoni were displeased with him! Why?
The reason being Ashwin made no mention of his ODI and T20 captain MSD in his tweet on the award, in which he thanked others such as wife Prithi Narayanan, his parents, head strength and conditioning coach Shanker Basu, coach Anil Kumble, and Test captain Kohli.
Futhermore, in a video released by ICC after Ashwin won the honour, the ace cricketer only acknowledges the fact that India has had a great transition since Mahi hung up his boots — and that a young captain has taken over and the team is on the right track now.
Social media didn’t take long to point this out to him though, as the 30-year-old was trolled and bombarded with messages from Twitterati reminding him that MSD had handed him his Test debut, mentored him during their CSK days together, and stood by his side when Ashwin faced a tough time overseas.
Ashwin, who is currently in Dubai, could not be reached for comment on the issue that is slowly blowing up.
There were always two camps in Team India. It is a story that goes into cricket antiquity.
“What we are seeing now is just a replay of old divisions,” said a senior retired cricketer who did not wish to be quoted. He was referring to Mumbai versus Rest of India, North vs South, Sunil Gavaskar vs Kapil Dev, M. Azharuddin vs Sachin Tendulkar and the new episode of Dhoni vs Kohli.
Dhoni was India’s Superman who inspired team spirit after Sourav Ganguly had done an expert job of killing the divisions of Indian cricket. But he was not universally loved. Gautam Gambhir stood up to him and even paid the price. He trolled him in 2011 after Dhoni forgot to mention his team and seemed to take all the credit for himself and Sachin Tendulkar.
It is no secret that Harbhajan Singh was Dhoni’s big mate, which is why he kept Ashwin on the bench for so long even after Bhajji was clearly failing to deliver with age. The spinner who Dhoni encouraged by bowling him with the new ball in limited-overs cricket, outgrew the superstar king and kingmaker Dhoni. Ashwin is a thinker, which is why he may have drifted away from Dhoni as the skipper began under-bowling him deliberately in the T20 worlds this year....