Ravichandran Ashwin-MS Dhoni
Ravichandran Ashiwn has been the best bowler for India in this series against Bangladesh.Reuters

MS Dhoni's leadership instantly came under the scanner after India lost their first ever ODI series against Bangladesh in the history of the game.

Dhoni himself went on to say at the press conference post the defeat in the second ODI at Mirpur that he would step down as captain, if that helped.  

But the ignominious defeat has not made Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin think Dhoni is responsible for drubbing. Instead, he called Dhoni a 'legend.'

"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. I know bad results crop and all kinds of statistics crop up. With statistics you can prove whatever you want as you please. You have to give credit to the individual because he has done a lot of good things. You can't blame him for the whole team's performance. That's not fair. I would say we have failed as a unit, failed as a group. 

"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," Ashwin said in an interview to Espn Cricinfo.

Ashwin also went on to laud the Bangladeshi bowlers Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed. He felt that Rahman has been a revelation and has some good slower deliveries up his sleeves with which he has troubled most of the Indian batsmen in the ongoing ODI series.

"Mustafizur, Taskin Ahmed, all these guys are good bowlers, man. You have got to give it to them. Some of them have fallen off the radar, but when these bowlers come on it's always about a surprise element. I wouldn't say we were shocked or caught off guard [though].

"You cannot deny what Rahman has done or take the respect away from him. I am also happy for him. But I think the challenge starts here for him. As an international cricketer I would know it much better than anybody else. Now, people are going to watch out for him," Ashwin said.

Ashwin said India have been defeated comprehensively in the first two ODIs. Now they will have to come up with a power-packed performance in the third and final one. There is no looking back from here, apart from correcting mistakes they have made in the last two games. They will have to come hard at the hosts in order to outplay them in their backyard. Bangladesh have looked invincible of late, a fact that the crafty off-spinner admitted. 

"You don't go into a game thinking, 'They beat me, now we are really angry and we want to smash them.' That's not how it works. Its international cricket, they have done their bit. They had their own biding time and now they're on the rise. So it's very important to respect the opponents. You can't go back and say that this is like an insult. It's not. A good side has beaten us and we have to admit that," Ashwin said.  

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