IPL 2016: MS Dhoni prefers the new Ashwin over his old warhorse

first_imgMahendra Singh Dhoni started his Indian Premier League campaign 2016 from where he left last season. On a track that assisted bowlers at the Wankhede, the skipper of debutant team Rising Pune Supergiants was in his elements rotating bowlers in the powerplay overs. (IPL Full Coverage) After losing the toss of the season opener against Mumbai Indians, Dhoni went ahead with three pacers and two spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant Murugan Ashwin. Pune Supergiants also picked veteran pacer Rudra Pratap Singh ahead of all-rounder Irfan Pathan. (MI vs RPS: Live Coverage) Dhoni, who often tends to start with spin, persisted with his pacers till the 10th over of the innings rotating between Ishant Sharma, Rajat Bhatia, Mitchell Marsh and Singh on a pitch that had a tinge of grass on it. (Rahul Dravid my idol, privileged to work with him: Carlos Brathwaite) And when the skipper introduced spin in the 11th over, he surprised many by choosing the leg-spinner M Ashwin over his old warhorse R Ashwin.Loved the first look at M Ashwin. Loved another look at Rajat Bhatia. Loved the great length of Ishant Sharma. Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 9, 2016The leg-spinner from Tamil Nadu was bought by Pune for a whopping sum of Rs 4.5 crore. Uncapped Ashwin, who had played with R Ashwin, made a mark in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this year. M Ashwin played only three first-class matches and two List-A matches, before he was picked by Pune.However, on Saturday, he looked at ease against top batsmen from the Mumbai camp. The leggie conceded only 16 runs from his four overs and picked up the wicket of Shreyas Gopal in his very first over.advertisementDhoni’s go-to-man R Ashwin bowled only one over in the innings. The off-spinner, however, did the trick for his captain by removing a well-set Ambati Rayudu. Mumbai Indians were restricted to 121/8 in their 20 overs. Dhoni is best known for handling his spinners on subcontinent tracks. It will be interesting to see what the skipper does with the Ashwin duo in the days to come.last_img read more