India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Friday said that he should not be made a villain for bowling one of the two no-balls which proved to be a crucial factor in India’s World Twenty20 semifinal loss to the West Indies.
Ashwin’s was one of the no balls which gave Man of the Match Lendl Simmons a reprieve and helped him anchor West Indies’ successful chase of a stiff target of 193 at the Wankhede Stadium here.
The day I went back home my dog had heat stroke. He had fits. It just showed me what is more important and what is very very important in life. I did not turn up a piece of paper for next three days. I haven’t read about what people had said,” Ashwin said ahead of his new franchise Rising Pune Supergiants’ opening IPL game against title-holders Mumbai Indians tomorrow.
“There have been good enough journalists and knowledgeable people who said I had not bowled a no-ball for ages and to have bowled one no ball, I don’t become a villain. If that’s the perception I don’t know how to counter that,” the bowler said at a media conference.
Ashwin was widely castigated in the media for bowling a no-ball – being a spinner – off which he had Simmons caught at point, only for the batsman to escape on 15 and play a match-winning innings that knocked India out of the World T20 nine days ago.
Ashwin took umbrage when a scribe asked him how he felt bowling with the wet ball because of dew, as the West Indies inched closer to India’s total.
“When there was dew I did not bowl. It’s better you ask someone who actually bowled, to be very honest. I don’t know how it felt with the dew on. It’s very amusing because with the first 12 balls I bowled, I created a wicket opportunity as well,” he retorted.
Asked further that it was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who had said at the post match media conference that the dew had affected his team’s bowling attack, Ashwin answered, “I don’t know what the captain said.”
At the end of the conference, Ashwin confronted the journalist who asked him about the dew factor to find out the publication he represented.
“I am not blaming you. But you should be responsible about what you write as millions of people read it and form an opinion,” said the player to the non-plussed correspondent.
Dhoni had blamed dew and the two no-balls bowled by Ashwin and then Hardik Pandya, who too had Simmons caught off a foot infringement after the batsman had reached 50, squarely for his bowlers’ poor display in his post-match media presser.
“You have to realise it was half an hour early start. A bad toss to lose. So, when they started batting the first few overs were fine, but after that there was a considerable amount of dew which meant the spinners couldn’t bowl how they would have liked to,” Dhoni had said.