There are many who think that Virat Kohli and Ashwin don’t get along and that’s why the wrist spinners are preferred over him. There are naysayers who keep questioning captain Virat even after his humongous success in Test cricket, including a series win in Australia. However, Ashwin in a recent interaction quashed both those rumours and in fact went on to highlight two strokes of genius by Captain Virat.
“Virat is very different when he gives you certain suggestions. We were on the first away tour with Virat as the captain in Sri Lanka. I was going through an unbelievable spell at Galle – where whatever I dreamt of, was happening. The drift of the ball was controlled, it was landing where I wanted it to land, the arm ball was falling like a dream and every time the batsman edged, it was going to the fielder,” Ashwin said. “During the spell, Jehan Mubarak walked to the crease. There was a point, a cover, an extra cover, a mid-off, a mid-on, and a square leg in place – that makes it six, slip gully and silly point, which is natural. Virat picked out the extra man at covers and put it at leg slip. He then told me to bowl a carom ball as the cover was open and there were no fielders there,” Ashwin recalled. “I told him, Virat, a left-hander is batting and we have no covers? He asked me to bowl and not to worry about being hit for a boundary. You won’t believe, I bowled the next ball, it straightened and Jehan Mubarak hit it straight to short leg,” Ashwin added.
“On the tour of New Zealand, the ball wasn’t spinning a lot and Henry Nicholls was on strike. I went over the stumps and wanted him to move into the line so that I can challenge his pads and then go around the wicket again. After bowling over the stumps, I moved around the stumps and it was not spinning at all and the batsman was playing at ease,” Ashwin stated. He said,” Virat removed the covers and put him at gully. And Nicholls nicked it straight to gully. I asked him – why didn’t you remove midwicket and put it at gully, why did you remove covers and put it at gully. He said – no the ball is not predominantly spinning, so the chance of the ball going towards midwicket is higher and if he looked to cut the ball he might get bowled. I wouldn’t have bought that theory but he is bringing a batsman’s theory to it,” Ashwin added.