Ravichandran Ashwin attended the press conference a day before the final one-dayer against Bangladesh and claimed that the mood in the camp was upbeat, despite having lost the series. Then, when the questions turned to MS Dhoni and his claim of wanting to step aside from captaincy, Ashwin made it a point to repeat that the ODI captain has the backing of all his players and believed that it was unfair for one man to take the blame for a losing unit. Excerpts.
On the mood
There’s no question of hope. We’re going into the game looking to win. Yes, we’ve lost the series, but we’d like to turn things around in this last game. It’s very important to stay relaxed at this moment.
We’ve had a quiet couple of days and I think everybody has reflected on what’s happened and we all know what needs to be done. The mood’s got a little better now.
A win! That’s all you can do. Everybody’s good enough, it’s not like we are looking to pick on anybody in the team or outside it like people would like us to do. It’s the end of the season for us so if we can cap it off with a win, it will be good. We have had a good season to be honest. We have won more than 75 per cent of our games in the last year.
We are trying to comeback in a lost series. That’s the way things go, you can’t throw in the towel or run away from the fact that there is a game to go. That’s how it is.
On Dhoni’s statement
I didn’t see the press conference. I am not going to be misguided by what people are saying. Honestly I think it’s an individual decision that one makes. I have always managed to keep myself isolated from all these things and try and hold myself in a good state of mind. He is one of the star cricketers, man, he is a legend of Indian cricket. He has done so much for the nation. We can’t really forget what he has done.
With statistics you can prove whatever you want as you please. You can’t blame Dhoni for the whole team’s performance. That’s not fair. I would say we have failed as a unit, failed as a group. We need to grow up as a group. To finish a season on a loss is not always bad. You can go back and work on whatever you need to work on.
On being the bowler in form
See it’s a very hard question to answer. I won’t say we haven’t bowled well. There have been others who have bowled well, and probably the way they have bowled has enhanced my chances of taking wickets. So it’s very really easy to analyse and say that they haven’t done well.
They have done well, but sometimes you don’t get the rewards. I have been at the receiving end of it many times, so I know how it feels. You bowl five overs for 20 runs, that will contribute in taking a wicket at the other end. I would never say someone has not done their job. Everybody has done their bit.
On team backing Dhoni
Of course, man! If you don’t go behind your leader now then when will you? So as far as I am concerned it’s like an army, if you don’t go behind your leader then you are definitely going to get shot.
If my captain asks me to die on the field, I’ll do it. It’s not just now, any captain you have to go behind him. If he asks you to die on the field, then you have to be prepared to do it.