Ashwin surprised by umpires' decision to change ball because of dew

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Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Chennai Super Kings batter Shivam Dube | PTI

Chennai: Rajasthan Royals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been left puzzled by the umpires' decision to change the ball on their own because of the dew in the IPL match against Chennai Super Kings here, and called for consistency while taking such decisions.

The heavy dew at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday night forced the umpires to intervene and change the ball during the chase, leaving Ashwin, who returned figures of 2/25, "surprised".

The Royals defeated the four-time IPL champions by three runs in a last-ball thriller, with CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja unable to score 21 runs off the last over in their chase of 176 for victory.

Ashwin said he had never before seen the umpires changing the ball because of excessive dew.

"I'm quite surprised the umpires changed the ball for dew on their own. It's never happened before and I'm quite surprised. Some of the decisions in this year's IPL on the field have left me a little flummoxed to be honest," said the India stalwart at the post-match press conference.

"I mean, (it) left me flummoxed in a good or a bad way. It's because I think what you need is a little bit of balance," said Ashwin, who was adjudged 'Player of the Match'.

"As a bowling team, we are not asking for the ball to be changed. But the ball was changed on the umpires' accord. I did ask the umpire and he said we can change it.

"So I just hope every time there is dew they can change it every single time going forward in this IPL that sort of, you can do whatever you want, but you just need to be in a standard going forward," he added.

The Royals spinner said he was enjoying the way he was bowling and looking forward to deceiving the batters a lot more with his flighted deliveries.

"I'm just enjoying the way I'm bowling and I'm not giving it too much thought. For someone like me, who bowls in different phases of the game, I have to be prepared to bowl different lengths, different speeds and different trajectories.

"So, I think what I've realised is even Sanjay (Manjrekar) asked me 'are you keeping it a lot more simple?' You keep it simple only when you attain a certain amount of mastery over things, I feel. I think, I probably gauge things and deliver what I think is the best for that situation.

"So, for me, at the moment, I'm just really enjoying my bowling and I'm looking at deceiving the batsman a lot more in the flight. That's because of where I find myself with bowling," Ashwin added.

About his bowling in Wednesday's game, especially his dismissal of Shivam Dube, Ashwin said, "He (Dube) is a designated spin hitter for CSK. The way he played Kuldeep (Sen) the previous over, I knew he was going to come after me.

Ashwin dismissed Dube for eight runs, much before the hard-hitter could settle down.

"Didn't have any deliberate plans but I feel the ball is coming out really well, I'm able to get it to drop, I'm able to put enough revs, I'm able to use both my variations, my length and the arm ball at the moment is really good. I'm just happy the way it is coming out," he added.

Ashwin, who was pushed up the order after Royals lost a couple of wickets quickly, said the pitch was offering turn and they had to bide their time as the scoring rate slowed down after a brisk start before the team finished at 175 for 8 in 20 overs.

"I felt like I was playing in a Test match when he (Jadeja) was bowling. It was just raging a few balls, these are the things we are going to encounter with different teams in different home grounds.

"I just felt it was perfect for a left-arm spinner to hit that spot at side spin, good speed. Jadeja was unplayable for those 2-3 overs, the ball was spinning from outside leg stump sometimes. We had to bide our time and try and pick our matchups," added Ashwin. PTI

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