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MSD and his camaraderie with spinners

Mahendra Singh Dhoni loves his spinners. When he took over as full-time Test captain at Nagpur in 2008-09 (against Australia), he threw the new ball to Harbhajan Singh. Dhoni hasn't shied away from turning to a spinner even on green tops. Many a time, he was left with no other option.


R Ashwin. Pic/Suresh KK

The old school believes that a spinner's success depends on his captain's willingness to trust his instincts, give him the desired fields. In Dhoni's case, it's mostly the opposite.

It's usually the Indian captain who likes to chalk out plans and seek his spinner's approval. A beautiful camaraderie is developing between Dhoni and new sensation R Ashwin.  It can do only good to the future of Indian cricket. Their bond will hold the key to India's success in the four-Test series that begins tomorrow.

Dhoni acknowledged that Ashwin will play a monumental role during the course of the series. "Ashwin is someone who loves challenges. That's what I have seen in whatever game I have led him. It's good to have him in the side. He has a few variations up his sleeve. Even if the pitch doesn't help him, he has some variations which helps him. He's a trier," the Indian skipper said on Saturday.

"Ashwin will enjoy the conditions here. He looks to adapt well, very quickly -- that is a very positive sign. It's obviously important that he bowls in right areas and be patient, wickets won't come in a hurry. But, the good thing is that he will get some bounce here, and that he will really enjoy," added Dhoni.

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