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HomeLatest NewsA 'tale of two IPLs' for Ravichandran Ashwin | Cricket News

A ‘tale of two IPLs’ for Ravichandran Ashwin | Cricket News

Having fought his way back from abdomen injury, star spinner holds key for Royals in Chepauk qualifier vs mighty SRH
CHENNAI: A week before the start of the IPL, Ravichandran Ashwin had an evening to cherish at his very own Chepauk. A felicitation was organized by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association for the master offie for crossing 500 Test wickets and completing 100 Tests.Ashwin got a little emotional as he spoke about what the venue has meant to him over the years.
Ashwin has achieved everything as a cricketer at the Chepauk. He even bowled a match-winning spell of 3-16 against RCB in the 2011 IPL final for CSK, when he removed Chris Gayle with one that came in with the arm. But if there’s one feather that he can still add to his already-decorated cap, it is an IPL title for an ‘away’ side at his home ground.
On Friday, the 37-year-old will find out if he will get to play another final against Kolkata Knight Riders, and standing in his way is the mighty batting line-up of Sunrisers Hyderabad, led by Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma and Heinrich Klaasen. The Chepauk pitch will have something in it for the spinners and the fact that Ashwin played a game here a couple of weeks ago should give him a fair idea of how to go about it.
“In that game, we got only 145 and that was a bit of a shock,” Ashwin said on Tuesday after his match-winning spell of 2-19 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad.
Ashwin had an indifferent start to the IPL, but he has slowly come into his own at the back-end of the tournament. In 14 games, he has taken 9 wickets at an economy rate of 8.31, which is probably not his best. By his own admission, the off-spinner was playing with an abdomen injury, which was stopping him from giving his best in the first few games.


“It has basically been a tale of two IPLs for me. In the first half of the tournament, my body couldn’t move and I had an abdomen injury. I wanted to put my body on the line but wasn’t always able to do it,” Ashwin said.
But as the IPL progressed, the injury healed and the pitches, too, started to get a little tired. It meant that the spinners got just a little more purchase out of the tracks, and who better than Ashwin to make the most of it.
On Wednesday, against a top class RCB batting lineup high on confidence, he brought all his variations – the slower off-break, the faster off-break and the drifter – into play to stifle Virat Kohli & Co. at a crucial juncture.


“When you are coming from Test matches, your body needs to get used to T20 cricket. I bowled a lot off-game also because I needed bowling time under my belt,” Ashwin explained about his resurgence.
He has also Yuzvendra Chahal, India’s No. 1 T20 leggie with him, and with the Chepauk pitch affording a bit of turn, the Chennai boy may just give the home fans something to cheer about after CSK’s departure from the IPL.

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