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MS Dhoni told us to be proud of the way we performed at the World Cup: R Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin talks about the mood in the dressing room after the semifinal loss, the Indian public and his spell against Australia.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that following the semifinal loss at  the hands of Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, skipper MS Dhoni gave the boys a pep talk in the dressing room, telling them to be proud of the way they performed at the mega event and accept the fact that they had been defeated by a better team on the day.

The Men in Blue succumbed to a 95-run loss at the hands of Australia, who eventually went on to lift their fifth World Cup crown a few days later.

“He told us to be proud of the way we played through the tournament and asked us to keep learning from it. He said, don’t forget all the good things you guys did on the field, the way you bowled, keep it in your memories and hold on to it.

“He said we were beaten by the better team on the day — that we should have done better, chased better, but that’s how it can go sometimes,” Ashwin said in an interview to the Indian Express.

Recalling the state of mind the players were in after the loss, the 28-year-old said that there wasn't a lot of talk in the dressing room and everybody was in a pretty flat mood.

“Not many spoke. We were all flat and just quiet. Dhoni was upset but realistic about how we did in the tournament. I wouldn’t say there was sadness, as in tears, but we were all flat,” he said.

Indian public have certainly grown over the years: Ashwin

Despite the Indians not making it to the final there weren't any adverse reactions from the fans and off-spinner felt that this was an indication of how much the average Indian cricket fan had matured over the years. He also had a word of praise for the manner in which the fans came out in support of the team during the quadrennial event.

“I think that as a nation we have come a long long way. The public has been fabulous. Even in the last two days in Sydney, after the semis, everyone walked up to me and said, ‘Well done, well played, we are proud of you guys.’ You have got to give people credit for the way they have handled it. They have been appreciative and have actually helped our team.

“The kind of electric atmosphere in Melbourne for the game against South Africa was something else. It actually helped us perform better. I have nothing but great appreciation and gratitude for the way the fans have supported us. It just inspires us to turn out and do our best for the country,” said the Tamil Nadu cricketer. 

Had done my analysis on Maxwell earlier: Ashwin 

Talking about his performance in the semifinal, where he took the wicket of Glenn Maxwell in a spell of 1 for 42 in 10 overs, Ashwin said that he had analysed the right-hander’s game a great deal  and added that he finds it comfortable when a batsman tries to hit him for boundaries as it provides him with an opportunity to pick up his wicket.

“It was a combination of all that I have learnt.

“I got hit a couple of times by him, got him out once or twice. Things are always going to be difficult with this five fielders’ rule. I had done a lot of analysis on him and came to the conclusion that he works well at a certain pace and angles. And through the summer, I have been conscious of slowing down my pace and getting some drift going.

“And it is always good for my bowling if a batsman comes after me. Not just because it becomes a challenge, between me and him, but also it genuinely gives me a few options to get him out,” the off-spinner said.

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