Updated March 6th, 2024 at 19:55 IST

MS Dhoni was left SURPRISED by R Ashwin over his secret ability: 'He didn't know but after I...'

R Ashwin's stellar performance earned him the Player of the Match award, as he also claimed 9 wickets in the match, including a crucial 5-wicket haul.

Reported by: Vishal Tiwari
How Ashwin surprised by MS Dhoni | Image:BCCI
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Ravichandran Ashwin reminisced about the moment when MS Dhoni was pleasantly surprised by his batting prowess after he notched his maiden Test hundred. This memorable feat occurred during Ashwin's third Test match in November 2011 against the West Indies at Mumbai's iconic Wankhede Stadium, where he scored an impressive 103 runs in the first innings.

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IPL 2024: When Ashwin stunned Dhoni with his hidden talent

R Ashwin's stellar performance earned him the Player of the Match award, as he also claimed 9 wickets in the match, including a crucial 5-wicket haul. Despite a closely contested match, it ended in a draw with India finishing at 242 for 9 while chasing 243 in the final innings.

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Credit: IPL/BCCI

Reflecting on the match's final moments, Ashwin was unfortunately run out off the last ball while attempting to seize an extra run. He highlighted that Dhoni was initially unaware of his batting abilities, attributing it to limited opportunities with the bat for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I don't think MS knew that I could bat as well as I did. Because in the IPL you don't see that much of batting. I was a very ordinary No. 9, No. 8. I was still coping with the speed changes. Hitting the ball didn't come naturally to me,” Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo’s Cricket Monthly.

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“He didn't know that, but after I got my first hundred [in his third Test], he said, ‘I didn't know that you batted so well.’ Eventually, he also gave me a couple of opportunities to open for CSK and sent me up the order later on because he felt like I was a good touch player,” he said.

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Beyond his exceptional bowling skills, Ashwin has consistently displayed his batting prowess, accumulating 3309 runs at an average of 26.47, including five centuries and fourteen fifties, in his 99 Test appearances.

As he approaches his landmark 100th Test match, Ashwin is poised to face Ben Stokes' England in the fifth Test of the five-match series, scheduled to commence on March 7 at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.

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Published March 6th, 2024 at 18:11 IST