We like R Ashwin. He seems… keen.
He’s talented too, but talented players are ten-a-penny. Who cares about them? No, what we like is a stony face when someone runs in to bowl; a face that says: ‘Shut up, I’m working. No, seriously, stop it. I’m trying to concentrate. I’ve got to get this finished otherwise I won’t be able to leave on time and I hate – absolutely HATE – staying late’ – that kind of face.
R Ashwin has replaced Harbhajan Singh in the side. We wouldn’t say Harbhajan became complacent exactly, but he did start to cling to his own record and past reputation a little too tightly.
Speaking to us in a fictional interview, Harbhajan reacted to Ashwin’s hundred and five-for against the Windies in Mumbai by saying:
“Obviously, as a senior player, I’m delighted for him. It’s great to see that I’ve mentored these youngsters so well and if they ever want more advice, they know they can count on me as a senior player.
“His performance in this match brings to mind my own in Cape Town earlier in the year. As a senior player, I made a whirlwind 40 and took 7-195 on a pitch that was tougher for both batting and bowling than this one.
“Hopefully, one day, Ashwin will become a senior player and will replicate such astonishing feats. Also, while we’re on this subject, I think it’s important to emphasise that I’m a senior player.”