IPL: I am indebted to Dhoni for the rest of my life for what he gave me, says Ashwin

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Veteran Indian spinner R Ashwin thanked MS Dhoni for helping him grow into one of the world’s best spinners, and said he would forever be “indebted” to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain.

Ashwin was a part of the CSK team in the inaugural edition, but he did not get a chance to play then. Later in 2009, he made his debut against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Cape Town.

“In 2008, I met all the greats (in the CSK dressing room) Mathew Hayden and MS Dhoni. I sat through (IPL) 2008. I was a nobody then, where am I to play in a team that had Muttiah Muralitharan,” Ashwin was quoted as saying.

”I am indebted to Dhoni for the rest of my life for what he gave me. He gave me an opportunity with the new ball to go head on with Chris Gayle and 17 years later Anil bhai would be talking about the same episode,” he added.

Ashwin, who debuted in Tests in November 2011 against the West Indies, last week became the 14th Indian player to play 100 Test matches for India in the fifth Test at Dharamshala against England.

The veteran off-spinner also became just the second bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan to achieve 500 wickets in less than 100 Test matches.



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