The right-handed batsman and right –arm off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin copped criticism from many fans of MS Dhoni in the country since he missed to mention the name of former Indian skipper on Twitter. Although, thanking his family, trainer Shankar Basu, coach Anil Kumble, captain Virat Kohli, former Team India bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar after bagging two top ICC awards last December.
But, on Friday the 30-years-old released upon his former Chennai Super Kings and India skipper Dhoni, who stepped down from captaincy on Wednesday. He recognized that it would be a “Herculean task” to emulate Dhoni’s feats.
Ashwin said that “MSD has had an illustrious career as a captain. There are a lot of leadership lessons even for big leaders out there. But it’s an individual’s decision. There is nothing I can comment about it. It’s his call and we have to respect it. It will definitely be a herculean task for someone to achieve what Dhoni has done.”
When he asked if anyone else will be able to take forward Indian cricket the way Dhoni did? Ashwin quickly said that “Kohli is no way lesser in captaincy and his record in Tests last year has been very good.”
He described and said that “Earlier, Sourav Ganguly began a fighting spirit phase in early 2000s. MSD also came from that phase to a certain extent. And after that, there were talks that no one could achieve that. These are emotional talks and it happens when such illustrious names leave. We are an emotional country.”
“I feel the questions of will there be anyone to take forward (lead) Indian team in itself is wrong. Definitely someone will emerge. Kohli is no way lesser in captaincy and his records in Test the last year have been very good. I’m sure MSD has seen those as well and decided to pass the baton on.”
When Dhoni stepped down the captaincy of Indian cricket team, Ashwin tweeted “The champion’s trophy (2013) last over discussion before and during the over will always remain etched in my memory. Great victories with #msdhoni.”
Remembering about the conversation between Dhoni and himself further on final over in the summit clash against England, the 30-years-old batsman and bowler said that “I think we needed to keep one more fielder inside during the last over. There was a discussion on which fielder had to come in, I told MSD, there is no point in thinking about it. First I need to ensure the ball lands properly (laughs).’ Whatever fields I set that day, it worked.”
“The communications and conversations throughout the game.. the kind of feeling we had after the match was unbelievable. That has to be one of the highest points of my life.”
The batsman and right-arm off break bowler said that leading all three set-ups will be a “challenging” task for Kohli, “I think it’s going to be a challenging task for anybody. As a playing group we have got a reasonably senior one; we will definitely have to pitch in and help him out.”
“He is someone who looks out for suggestions; he is someone who is looking to make game plans well ahead. It’s going to be an exciting phase. We will have hard and testing times but looking forward to it,”