‘Be funky’: Why MS Dhoni kept giving the same advice to Ravichandran Ashwin for 15 years | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recently opened up about the invaluable advice he has been receiving from former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for over 15 years, emphasizing that Dhoni’s core guidance has always been to remain innovative and ‘funky’.
This insight, shared by Ashwin in an interview with RevzSports, underscores Dhoni’s enduring influence on Ashwin’s cricketing approach.
Ashwin, who recently achieved the milestone of 500 Test wickets, started his international career under Dhoni’s leadership. The experienced spinner shared Dhoni’s pivotal advice, revealing that it has remained consistent over the years.”He (Dhoni) always said, ‘Your greatest strength is to try new things, to be funky. So, do not change that for anybody else.’ I met him in Dubai after a game between Delhi against CSK and I asked him, ‘How you find it? I have developed that back spin.’ He said, ‘You are always like that. It has been your strength. Remember, you continue to be funky. Remember, you continue to work on your variations’. I was like, this was what he told me 15 years ago,” Ashwin shared.
Ashwin also highlighted Dhoni’s ongoing belief in this approach even after many years.

“The man continued to see the same thing. And then like after a brief pause, he told me again, ‘You know what, I know what you are thinking but that is your strength. So, keep being funky, keep expressing yourself’,” Ashwin added.
Dhoni’s mentorship goes beyond technical skills, with a particular focus on enhancing the mental aptitude of players. Ashwin remarked on how Dhoni’s insights have aided the development of players like Tushar Deshpande, who played for Chennai Super Kings.
“Maybe it is not just the cricket that he sees. He sees, more sort of a mental strength side of things, or the mental aptitude side of things. And I find that he did that with Tushar Deshpande also for CSK. So, he continues to do that. He continues to pick people who are good in certain roles and fit them in,” Ashwin explained.

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