Chennai v Bangalore, IPL 2011, Final, Chennai May 30, 2011

No pace to Gayle was key - Ashwin

ESPNcricinfo staff

R Ashwin, who took three wickets for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL final, said taking pace off the ball was the key to dismissing Chris Gayle in the first over of Royal Challengers Bangalore's chase.

"He [Gayle] has been batting really well this year and has been extremely selective in his strokes, which to me was the real difference," Ashwin told the Hindustan Times. "My plan was not to give him any pace as everybody knows what Gayle can do with it. Lack of pace meant that he had to use his feet and mind."

Gayle was the leading run-getter in this IPL and single-handedly transformed Bangalore's fortunes in the tournament. But Ashwin, who had dismissed Gayle for eight in the first qualifier in Mumbai, said that he was always confident of getting him out. "You can't plan against someone like Gayle. If you think too much about him, you can get defensive. I was confident that I can get him and I did.

"I knew he won't step out to me at all. I had in mind that at Wankhede he had pulled me for a six. The plan was made in Bangalore that I'd spin a few past him and then slip in an arm ball to get him out lbw or bowled. But on Saturday it spun and bounced and I think Gayle was a little late for his shot."

Ashwin, who was often used used by his Chennai captain MS Dhoni, to bowl with the new ball, admitted he "liked" bowling early on in the match. "I like bowling with a new ball. Secondly, I bowl in the nets with it as well. I just like the feel of it, the seam and lacquer helps it to skid off the wicket."

Ashwin ended the tournament as the highest wicket-taker for Chennai with 20 wickets and said that having Dhoni as a wicketkeeper had helped his bowling. "I rely a lot on the bounce, therefore a good wicketkeeper is extremely crucial," he said. "With Dhoni, the caught-behinds and stumpings have gone up many notches in my bowling. He understands the trajectory, the variation and the bounce that I get."

Chennai's victory, however, was set up by their batsmen, with a 159-run opening stand between M Vijay and Michael Hussey propelling them towards a total of 205. Vijay, who was declared Man of the Match for his 95 off 52 balls, said that his focus had been to ensure he picked up as many singles as possible. "I was missing a lot of singles in the previous matches," he said. "I was getting starts but not carrying on. So I worked consciously on running better, helping Hussey get the singles and rotating the strike."

Vijay said that the fact that Chennai had retained the nucleus of the side in the 2011 auction helped in the team's success. "There are a lot of known faces around since Chennai retained four players and bought back the core group of the squad during the auction, " Vijay told the Indian express. "Everyone knows what is expected and knows each others' game well. It has helped that MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming have been working together for a while. The sense of familiarity has put players in a comfort zone and brings the best out of them."

"There are a lot of quality players in this squad, those who have played Tests and ODIs for their countries. Since they are international stars they know what needs to be done to ensure that the winning momentum is carried forward from one game to another. "

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Viru on May 31, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Ashwin is the best spinner currently in India. As they say, form is transitory but class is permanent, Ashwin is definitely one of the first-class bowlers who would give the batsmen a run for their money on any day in any pitch. He's not a flash in the pan like Amit Mishra or Pragyan Ojha or Ajantha Mendis. He is a mentally tough guy and a thinking bowler, much like Muthaiah Muralitharan. Please dont compare him with Bhajji( who is another good bowler) who needs adrenalin rush(aussies/critics) to perform well.

  • vinod on May 31, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    @maja2834....still a.mendis is in srilankan main squad only ...pls follow cricket before commenting ....

  • vinod on May 31, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    bhaji is a spinner who is totally out of form .....bhaiji is using name of sachin to stay in team ....c his recent comments everything in praise of sachin only...bhaji shld return to nca and improve his performance like shewag or yuvi ....ashwin is current best spinner for india ....ppl like rahul sharma shld also be groomed properly that their talent is not wasted ...bhaji shld give way to others ...ashwin commitment to team and franchise was also one reason he performed .....sure he will give the same commitment to India as well ...ashwin has always a taken a wicket after he was hit for six ....this shows his ability to stay calm and come back strongly ...ashwin has never lost his nerves like bhaji usually does ......but lets c how he does in the Caribbean

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Brothers look at statistic guru.. chennai had 8 Mom's but Ashwin not in them not even badhri... Just look at what a team with 10 out of 11 match winners .... because of unity ...

  • vadivel on May 31, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    see harbahajan is not in a prime form then why dont we try ashwin here some persons talk about that ashwin is like mendis its not really true he is using his mind like warne he is not a natural bowler like murali or mendis but the bowler like warne

  • Arvindh on May 31, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    Its too early to compare ashwin with baaji...but ashwin cannot be compared with mendis as mendis can be tackled by playing back foot shots but ashwin cant be tackled easily like that..

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    Harbajan is a good test bowler... but he should be omitted in limited overs cricket... ashwin is so good in it with so many variations...

    i have no hatred towards bhaji... but the last few years.. he was doing so poor in limited overs cricket... even in world cup.. he was so poor..

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    one thing everybody should understand... Ashwin bowls 3 powerplay overs and have an economy rate of 6... on the other hand the other spin bowlers bowl their quota of overs from 7 to 16 and have an economy rate of 6, where the bats man tries to keep the wickets and rotate the strike... there is a lot of difference in it... so it is right to call R.Ashwin as the current best spin ball bowler for INDIA, no doubt in it...

  • Sathyan on May 31, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Come on guys... Clearly Ashwin thinks lot better than Mendis and he proved himself whenever given a chance.. Remember the T20 in SA how his over turned the match.. Even in WC he has taken the crucial wickets and been economical when needed.. This guy is in his peak performance and its the right time to give him more opportunities..

  • manish on May 30, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    Guys-Ashwin is new..remember how Ajantha Mendis came and fooled everyone with carrom ball..But where he is now..So lets not compare Aswin with Bhajji...Infact there is no comparison of T20 and international cricket also.. Remeber rohit sharma,robin uthappa,or MURALI VIJAY for that matter.....

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