Indian cricketer R Ashwin emerged into international spotlight after he debuted for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2009. Ashwin only got two games for CSK in IPL 2009 but was given more chances in 2010. He proved successful but was eventually dropped from the team due to a few bad performances. Recently, the off-spinner reflected on his earlier journey with CSK.
Over the course of the years, R Ashwin became so important to CSK that his release from team almost came as a surprise ahead of the IPL 2018. Ashwin recently sat down for an ESPNCricinfo podcast with former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. During this podcast, R Ashwin revealed his initial struggles in the MS Dhoni-led CSK team.
Ashwin reflected on a 2010 match against RCB where he was destroyed by Mark Boucher and Robin Uthappa. He reflected on how he did not have the correct mindset for T20 cricket and felt that it was easier to bowl in the format as compared to first-class cricket.
After two bad games, R Ashwin was sacked from the playing XI and had to vacate his hotel room to watch the next CSK game from home. Ashwin reflected on how the incident was humbling for him but also made him question the support he had gotten from the team. He added that he was upset with coach Stephen Fleming who he had looked up to a lot.
Ashwin explained how Fleming had not even talked to him about his performances or any improvement that he could make. "I was sitting at home watching CSK games and making promises that one day I will turn the tide.", Ashwin reflected.
R Ashwin made a strong comeback for the MS Dhoni-led side in the IPL 2011 and played all their games in the season and ended up with 20 scalps. Till this day, that season has been Ashwin's most successful in the IPL. He has taken 125 wickets in 139 IPL games. He captained the Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018 and 2019. He was traded to the Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2020 but could not debut for the team as the IPL was suspended due to the India lockdown.