Come on. Yeah, that’s it. Chucky, Chucky, no problem!
You can do it. You’ll do good. Oh no! That’s not how you do it. That’s how you do it! Hello Ashwin!
Welcome to What the Duck Season 2. Powered by Hike Messenger. Nice to have you here. First Question.
Always wanted to ask you. You are the king of Carrom ball. Poojara told me that… his father didn’t allow
him to play tennis ball cricket… and your main skill comes
from Gully (local) cricket. Tell us something about that. It was good on Poojara’s father not to
allow him to play Gully cricket. I don’t think he can cheat. The first parameter that you
need to play tennis ball cricket… is to be able to cheat. And I don’t think he has that so… good on his father to
have not allowed him to play. But as far as Carrom ball goes…
It’s something that… I used to bowl at will when I used
to play tennis ball cricket and… it’s far more easier
bowling with a tennis ball… because the ball
goes into your fingers. As you can actually press
the ball into your fingers. And quite obviously it’s
smaller than a cricket ball. You’ve really long fingers…
– Yeah my fingers are long and… they’re pretty strong,
so that helps. To master it with a cricket ball
it took me a good couple of years. And to get the confidence to deliver it in
a match took another couple of years. So basically it was… four years of real toil with a cricket
ball to bowl that particular… Four years, huh?
– Yeah. Almost four years. But you still play
gully cricket, right? Not anymore.
But yes, whenever I get a chance. Any interesting incidents there?
– My last… There have been plenty of incidents. My last tennis ball
tournament was last year. Oh really! Yeah, in my own academy. In within my own premises it’s a
lot more easier to control what I can. So we conducted our own
tennis ball tournament and… I played in that tournament. And the interesting incident
was that I damaged my shoulder. It is not quite interesting,
it was quite unpleasant… because having bowled
with a cricket ball… after a long break if
you bowl with a tennis ball… you need to produce
a lot more force and… obviously, it did a little
bit of a damage to my shoulders. There’ve been a lot of interesting
incidents in gully cricket. One such incident happened
long time back in 2010. I used to play a lot of underarm
tennis ball cricket as well, on the roads. And we just lost a game
for Chennai Super Kings… against Kings XI at Chepauk. And I was batting and I had
to get a run off the last ball… and I hit it straight to mid-off
and Mohhamed Kaif caught the catch. The bowler was Irfan Pathan. And the game went into a super over. We had to win that
game quite easily… but the game went into a super over. And in the super over, we lost. We just made 9 runs
and they got the runs back. But nobody spoke about who
bowled or batted in the super over. But it was me,
the reason we got into a super over. So, I was dropped from the team after
that particular game, and rightly so. And it’s quite gutted
and disappointed but the only thing that
kept me going was the game itself. So I enjoyed playing a lot
of Gully cricket with my friends… right next outside my house. And I was fielding at
a very short-close position… We used to play off-side runs and… there’s a hospital
at the end of my road. A couple of guys walked past us… and then suddenly turned. And it was quite obvious that he figured
out that he’s seen this face somewhere… and he just stopped for
a second then came back… stood right in the center of the pitch
and stopped the game for a minute… and he asked me… “Couldn’t you get that one run?
Was it so difficult?” “Because I would get
it 9 out of 10 times.” “To call yourself a professional
cricketer, not being able to get it…” This is in the middle of the gully…?
– Yes, middle of the gully cricket game. And he actually challenged me… saying, “Should I join you guys here?
I think I’d beat you hands down.” But then couple of friends
rounded up and said… “No, we don’t take any
strangers into the team.” And you guys don’t understand that
we understand cricket more than you. Okay. I don’t know if I should take
it on the chin or just leave it but… if that’s the case… In India, only fans and audiences know
how to bowl in T-20 or a Test match. Cricketer doesn’t know anything. That’s the…
– There are lots… lots of such instances actually… One such incident that
comes very directly to my mind is… the one of my mom. One game I got hit
for a couple of sixes… She’s very critical of my
performances every single day and… when I came back home she said… “You know what,
I think I have a suggestion.” “I have a feedback from the game.” I didn’t know how to react,
so I said… “Okay tell me what is it.
Shoot it out.” And she generally has a habit of… making it long
and very tiresome… and I can’t sit down for
a long time and listen to it. I told her to cut to the chase,
tell me what is it. She said, “Generally, when
the middle of the bat is at about…” “2-ft high from the ground…” “so if you can bounce the
ball less than 2-ft high…” “it’s not going to
hit the middle of the bat.” “So you should try
and get the ball at…” “less than 2-ft high
every time you bowl.” I was like, wow! That’s an
amazing scientific explanation to it. But to get that to happen from… 6-ft high, which is me… and probably another
3-feet with my hands, that’s incredibly tough! Any interesting incident
with Krish Shrikanth? I’ve had great
incidents with Shrikanth. Specially,
touring during the World Cup in 2003. He’s vegetarian! Everyday in the room,
yogurt, rice and Pringles. And I said, “Three meals”,
this guy is a genius. And every time Shrikanth’s around
there can be some damage to the room. Yeah, two things come
directly to my mind. One is… he’s an extremely nice man. Second is,
he’s extremely absent minded. People can actually think… his absent mindedness as
some sort of rudeness on occasions. But the man means good only. I can vouch for that
because I know him very well. I’ve had a lot of
conversations with him. And stereotyping him as yogurt and…
rice is some sort of… I don’t know…
– No, it’s the truth. It could be.
I don’t know him that well, too. No, no, it’s the truth
because I’ll tell you why. I was under the impression,
my first tour 2003, that cricketers have juices,
etcetera, etcetera. It’s very important nutrition…
– I believed… And this guy played the
best cricket all his life… just having curd rice
which was amazing. I also believed Sachin had aerated
drinks all the time seeing ads. I actually bought those
aerated drinks for a few years… and drank them everyday
before a game. And also carried a couple to the game. Then I realised… after a point of time that knowledge
is very poor for us cricketers.. what we should be
having as a youngster. The best story is he
was a Chairman of selectors. In 2009, we were playing
a quarter finals game in… at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. Tamil Nadu was playing
against Bengal… and he happened to be
the Chairman of selectors… for Tamil Nadu as well,
which was the case then. So we’d had quite an ordinary day. And not to say, I also had
an ordinary day on the first day. I put down a couple
of caught and bowls. Saha and Manoj Tiwary had made 100s. So I was just sitting a little
pensively from the dressing room… looking at the ground. Imagining if I could turn the
day around just like a youngster does. And he just quietly walked
in from behind like… not quietly, notoriously
walked in from behind. and when Shrikanth is around,
you know he’s around. So he came,
sat right next to me and said, “So what did you do?” I said, “Sir,
I picked up a few wickets.” “So how do I select
you in the Indian team?” “You have to give me 5
wickets every single game…” “for me to say that you’re good
enough to play for the Indian team.” “It’s not about me knowing
that you’re good enough.” “You have to show me
that you’re good enough.” I said, “Yes sir, sure.
I am giving my best.” He said, “OK, OK,
don’t worry, the tide will change.” And then he just picked up a… He picked up a cigar and he lit up. He smoked it around and said… “Don’t worry things will turn around.
I will take care of everything.” “You do well, I’ll take care
of everything”, and he just… Because out of respect
for the Chairman of selectors… I had stopped eating
my Idli and Sambar. And I was just… so pensively holding it next to him. He didn’t even know what was around. He just picked up his cigar,
dipped it right into my Sambar… and put his ash around… he used it as an ash tray… and actually left the
cigar in the Sambar and left. I was holding the plate like this… I turned around embarrassed… very sheepishly I looked
at Raman who was the coach. And Raman was very cool. He knew
Shrikanth really well, so he said… “It’s okay, just put the plate.
Get another one.” I just put it,
went and picked another one. Sehwag was never complicated. He was never!
Actually again, Sehwag was… He had a very demoralising
effect on me actually. I had successful stints
as a bowler in the IPL. I’d won a couple of Man of the
Series awards in T-20 competitions. I’d sat out of the Indian
team for a good couple of years. Learning the trade. My only motive… when I was sitting on the side
lens for the Indian team was to… trouble every single batsman,
I bowled in the nets to. There was an incidence
in Dambulla, where… every ball that I bowled, first ball I bowled outside off stump,
Sehwag cut me. Next ball I bowled on off stump,
he cuts me. Next ball I bowl on middle stump,
he cuts me. The next ball I bowl on leg stump,
he again cuts me. So I said,
“What the hell is happening?” So I just bowled a ball fuller, he
stepped out and slug out me for a six. So I said to myself,
either I am just not good enough… or this guy is just way too good,
which he was. But to the greater
Sachin Tendulkar also… I didn’t struggle bowling
so much in the nets too. I was very inquisitive.
I observed this for a few days. But then I couldn’t hold myself back,
I went to him and asked… “So what should I do to improve?” If I’d asked Sachin,
he would’ve give me some tips. If it were M.S.,
he would’ve given me a perspective. Veeru said, “You know what…” “I don’t think off
spinners are bowlers.” “They don’t trouble me at all.
I just find it easy smashing them.” I said, “Sir, but you’re cutting me.” He said, “Yeah, I hit off spinners
against the spin on the off side…” “and for left arm spinners, I’ll
hit against the spin on the leg side.” I said, “Okay, fine!” The next day I tried
something in the nets… he again started hitting
me in different zones. He was actually treating
me like a road-rag. Like how I would treat a 10 year
old kid, if I was batting against him. Then I realised one fine day that it was
his ego that you needed to bowl against. Because he gave me
a very interesting story. He said he had fever
in a game at Rohtak. And he smashed Harbhajan for 12 sixes. “You know Harbhajan
is a good off spinner.” I said, “Yeah,
Harbhajan is a good off spinner.” But that doesn’t mean you
smoke him for 12 sixes with fever. I even asked him
for the story behind it. He said he opened the innings
and hit him for 2 sixes… and came back due to fever. He went in at number 10 and
smashed him for another 10 sixes. The wicket was spinning square,
you know. I asked, “Sir, what did you do?” He said, “Every ball
because it was spinning…” “I decided to smack
him over the leg side.” He said that he hit even
him from outside the pitch. Outside off stump
and hit him for a six on the leg side. So basically for Sehwag… it was very simple,
he hit people on good balls. So my simple strategy to
Sehwag was to bowl rubbish balls. And it worked! Because when you start
bowling rubbish balls… he starts dictating the pace to you
with your rubbish balls… or your so-called plan against him. So the best possible
plan against Sehwag was… to bowl every single ball as
a best rubbish ball that you can give. And I got him out a few
times in the IPL that way. Because what he expects
is not what you dish out. Because he expects you
to bowl good balls on our part. Wow! What an insight! Sehwag on the pitch you figured out. But did you figure out
Sehwag in a team meeting? One thing that I’ll tell
about Sehwag is very clear… he didn’t believe in team meetings. He didn’t believe in playing the way
the team wanted or any strategy. He just wanted to
see the ball and hit it. He wanted to hit everywhere,
every single bowler. So there was one such meeting
during the 2011 World Cup. In the IPL how I bowled
to him, and… what my experience
was to him and all that. We were playing England at Bangalore,
and we were staying at the ITC Hotel… and Gary had scheduled a meeting… at about 10 o’clock in the morning. We finished a game in Dhaka
and we came back to Bangalore and… usually Viru never
speaks in the meeting… the Indian team meeting goes for
a grand 2 minutes every single time. This time what happened,
Gary took his notebook… and there was a beautiful
slide that was there. ‘Team India Mission 2011
World Cup’ or whatever it is, so… all of a sudden that was very new,
usually the presentation goes… Gary speaks… then he says MS and MS says nothing. We all leave. That is the meeting,
that is the meeting agenda usually. So… The slide was there and Gary
very interestingly closed his diary. He generally briefs upon
the previous match… and says good luck for the next match,
that’s it. That’s all Gary’s report carries. You can probably read ‘The Hindu’ and… know what Gary will speak
about or ‘The Times of India’, whatever. But he believed in ‘The Hindu’
because it is more diplomatic. So… immediately Gary said, “Well done, guys.
It was a great win in Dhaka.” “Viru will start us off.” Actually Viru had gone to Gary and said,
“I would like to speak in the meeting”. He didn’t update Gary on
what he was going to speak about. Gary thought that he was gonna say
something about the team, he said… “We had a great game in Dhaka.” “Now tell me how many complimentary
passes is each player promised?” Like, we were all thrown off,
I don’t understand what you’re saying. And he had actually
found out from somewhere… that everybody is
eligible for 6 passes… and we were only getting 3. So, he said, come what
may we play the next game or… before the toss we should
get our 6 complimentary passes. Gary is like… I don’t need my 2, you can take my 2. And Viru immediately jumped and said,
Gary, you are eligible for 4. But you’re only getting 2,
so we need to sort this out. And that meeting
went on for 20 minutes. Wow.
– Because the manager spoke… the Logistic manager
spoke, BCCI… spoke and how why they
were giving us three passes. Viru said,
nothing doing, if you don’t give us 6. I will take this up and
I will not play the game. And we were all, thankfully… because of Viru the world
cup became a lot more easier… for players like me. Because the people were asking passes,
left, right and center. And we from the outside were thinking
Indian team fully discussing… strategy, this, that.
– Forget about strategy. The most surprising thing is everybody
away from the Indian team believes… that every player has
a stand of tickets with him. That is the best
thing that I have ever heard. Like, there was a friend of mine… who asked me for a ticket in Mumbai. Not during the World Cup,
for another game. So I gave tickets, I gave 2 tickets. There was another
distant friend of mine… who asked for tickets,
so I gave him a couple of tickets. There was a very
distant relative of mine… who actually asked me for
tickets and I didn’t have tickets. So, she goes like this. So… “Players don’t get tickets?”
I said, “We do.” And I’ve already promised
4 tickets to someone… so I have given.
I am only eligible for 4. “But don’t you get like…” “30-40 passes in a game?”
I said… “If we get 30-40 passes, then who will
make the money from the spectators?” They have no clue about how
many tickets the players will get… and they actually think that
the players can get the world. They believe that
if the players think… they can get them
just above the pitch… To watch the game.
– Yes. Exactly. You know,
it so happened in London once. I, okay, for the Lord’s test match. Somebody came to me, boss, you have
so many good contacts, just 2 tickets. Only 2. Only 2 you give me.
– Only 2. So I said, boss, I don’t have it. Again the guy called
me in the evening… “Boss, you know Sachin Tendulkar.” “Just 2, not more, just 2.” Third time when he called me I said,
“Listen boss…” “I can’t give you tickets,
but I can put you in the team.” What do you guys
discuss in the huddle? I’m sure some fun stuff must
be happening inside the huddle. Yes, we discuss everything,
but cliches. Like, every time it is cliché because… at the end of the day pressure can get
the best clichés of out your mouth, but… when it comes to the most
interesting huddle conversation… I’ve been a part of, is… when Ravi Shastri actually
was the team director. This has to go down
as one of the most… hilarious things that’s
ever happened in a huddle. So, we have a habit of getting
together in a huddle before the game. Like for example, if you have… reached the ground one and a
half hours before, they’ll give you… half an hour to get ready,
have your lunch or dinner… depending on which
game you are playing… and then get your spikes on,
get your usual routines done… and you assemble at a
certain particular time in the huddle. They’ll give you the 11. They will say all the final words,
all the final rites to be performed… and you’re good to go,
so a team warmup. Well, it’s usually not long with M.S.
around… It’s always nothing.
– Yes. So, he says… every coach… always offers M.S. to say
something and M.S. very firmly says… “All good.” Then we start game.
So, a warmup happens. So team drill happens, so… at Sydney we’d won,
we played the three 20-20 game… and we won all the T-20,
I am sure you remember that, in 2016. And the third game was in Sydney… and the women’s game
just happened before that… and we were short change for time. Like, we just had about
50 minutes or something. And the coach, the bowling coach,
then Mr. Bharat Arun said… “5:40, out in the park, huddle.” So all of them were
out doing the routine. Shikar was doing his batting drill,
people were bowling. some of them were getting
their final warm-ups done. whatever, I mean, your own routine. And it was late. People
were not coming into the huddle… because they were
short change for time. So, they were like shouting,
left, right and center… and Ravi was like fuming. All that,
he was almost like in a lion’s den. You know, you can hear him fuming.
– Yes. But because of the ground… the audience,
you couldn’t hear him quite clearly. So, he was fuming. And Arun, literally, you know,
Arun the man, he’s not very bulky. He’s just moving around
very freely and he was just… calling everybody,
holding people by the collar… and literally pulling
them into the huddle. I mean, we were late by a minute or
two and everybody was standing there. Arun announced the team… and he put it across to M.S. M.S. was like,
“Nothing, let’s go out and play.” And then Ravi was like… Alright. So, Arun said, “Ravi…” “Guys!” “Go and smash them!” “Out!” I was like, like we all really
thought he was gonna say something. Because he was fuming
for a very long time. You know, when this person
gets ready for a debate. When you get ready for a ship wreck.
– Yes. How a person actually plans the speech.
You’re like… Yes, jungle pattern…
– Jungle pattern speech. So we definitely
believed that he was gonna say… Australia, 2-0 down, we’re gonna
make it 3-0, or something like that. He said, “Go and smash them.” And he just turned around and left. And people were still in the huddle. Still actually… Not knowing what
had happened that time. And that was one of the most… Hilarious things I’ve ever seen.
– Too funny. I’ve been hearing from other players
that Ashwin sledges beautifully. He does it in style. Does it mildly sometimes. I’m sure some interesting incidence
from the Australia tour as well… now if you can share with us. See there’s one team that, like… likes having a banter on the field,
and that’s Australia. If they play well, they are nasty. If they don’t play well,
they are even more nasty. There is no one… like, there is no grey for them.
They’re either black or white. So… what happened was,
whenever we were touring Australia… I don’t know if it’s
by luck or bad luck… or just the way it is,
or is it just the… Planetary, planetary position of my…
– Alignment. Alignment that I end up being
at press conferences in Australia. Either we lose or win, I end
up being at the press conferences. And perennially I find
some Indian journalist… who just loves me. Like, there was an instance
in the first tour of Australia. So this journalist sitting right in
front of me, like an Indian journalist… and he said… “You bowled an entire
day and not got a wicket?” I said, yes. He said, “Do you think you
are good enough to replace Harbhajan?” “I don’t know.
But I am here playing instead of him.” “So I must be pretty reasonable.” “That is going through my mind.
I couldn’t answer.” The next time I go for
a press conference, he says… “Why is Gautam Gabhir, Virender
Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar…” “rotating and playing?” I said, “That’s the question
you need to ask the captain.” “Then why did you come
for the press conference?” I said, “Okay, what is this?
Am I, am I…” Who’s sledging me?
The Australians or the Indians? So this is my experience
of touring to Australia. The second time I went… I again found myself
in such lovely situations.. of going to press conferences. So we were playing in Sydney and… I’d gone to the press conference
and there were some questions… As a team we wanted to stay positive.
So, I said… “Whatever will be the score,
I think we fancy our chances.” “We can get close to their score.” “We have a chance to still win the
game if the wicket spins or anything.” They asked me something
about Nathan Lyon, I said… “There is a bit of rough,
but there is not much.” “I don’t think he’s
troubled us after I delayed.” “So I think we can play.” It’s not like anybody will
turn up at the press conference… and Nathan Lyon is bowling well,
he’ll get 5 tickets tomorrow. We’ll get all out.
That’s not how anybody answers. So, this is how I answered. So I… on fourth day morning I was batting. And I was like defending Nathan Lyon,
not taking a lot of chances… just rotating singles. People put in,
I didn’t go over the top and all that. So Haddin was standing behind… and Warner was at leg gully. And Haddin kept on going for an hour,
an hour and a half. He said, he’ll remain positive,
it’s all talk and no action. Just talks,
he’s a useless guy and all this was… just going for an hour, a hour and
a half, I just stayed listening, listening… I was just batting the way I was batting,
it was getting to them. So, he said, “Hey, hey.” “You don’t have a mouth?
You don’t talk?” “What’s with it?
You talk only in press conferences.” I said, “If only you could’ve
spent the time that you talked…” “or watching the press conferences,
I think you could’ve made…” “a far better test cricketer
than what you are, Brad.” And he’s like, “What?
What’s that?” I said… “Look at your average.” “You walk in and you
look like a sitting duck.” “Everybody has made
runs in the series…” “and you’re the one who looks like
a tail-ender. Mitchell Johnson got runs.” “You’ve not made runs.” Immediately, David Warner, they have…
– Yes. a thing of hunting in packs.
– Yes. They believe in that,
I don’t what that means. I think somebody just brainwashed
them saying, you hunt in packs… So, as soon as I gave it to Haddin,
Warner from behind came… “Hey, what’s that, mate?
You watch what you’re saying.” I said, “Listen, I think you need
to watch out for what you’re saying.” Then he immediately said
that you’re a bully at home. I said, I could be a bully at home… but you still lambed
to me even in Australia… you’re getting out here are well. So, it’s better that you don’t
talk because in the second innings… again you have a chance
of getting out to me. And so as it would have it,
he got out in the second innings. Wow. Moving on to our next segment… What the Duck Season 2.
Powered by Hike Messenger. Okay, our next segment is
called Bankable Player segment. Essentially I’ll give
you a cricketing situation… and then you have to tell
me who is the most bankable person… you would have
in that situation. Okay. You are probably 85, not out… you have to score a 100… you have to select a non-striker,
who is a tail ender. So that you can trust
him and you can get your 100. Most bankable? Depends on if you consider
him to be a tail ender. So, you’ll say no if
I say somebody who not a tail ender. No, basically, among the tail
enders of the Indian cricket team. The best possible option you…
– Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Most bankable? Of course, without a doubt.
He’s got a first class 100. First class hundred, correct!
– Oh yeah. Second question. Who is the most bankable
player to have as a PS4 partner? When you are playing…
– Saha. Saha?
– Yes. I thought it was Pujara, because
Pujara claimed that he beat Saha. No, but I mean, Saha at least… listens to what you say,
and he’ll just… Pujara doesn’t. He’s got the vanity about
himself that he’s the best. So, he’ll hardly pass the ball to you. But I am not very good at PS anyway,
that’s why I said Saha. We want you to sign a bat. Here’s the marker. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. And we have a special jersey for you. So, I joined the What The Duck team? Yes. This is a special jersey for you. Called Ashwin 9.
– Wow. Where’s the other 9? It’s just one 9, what is 9? The number of ducks you’ve scored. Please don’t increase on this number.
– No. Sure. Thank you so much.