Murugan Ashwin was an unknown figure in Indian cricket prior to the 2016 IPL Player Auction, before coming into the spotlight after the Rising Pune Supergiants picked him for a whopping Rs 4.5 crore.
The leg-spinner does not have an impressive record in Ranji Trophy matches for his state, Tamil Nadu, after making his debut in 2012. He has just managed to pick up a solitary wicket in three first-class matches.
However, M Aswhin was picked in the Tamil Nadu side for the 2015-16 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he was one of the best bowlers of the tournament, scalping an impressive 13 wickets. Ashwin believes his performance in the T20 competition helped him bag the IPL deal.
"This was the most important tournament of my life. As it was just before the IPL auction, I saw it as a big opportunity to enter the premier league. I was one of the top bowlers in that tournament, my economy was 5.52, which is pretty good for a T20. The franchieses must have seen the stats of this tournament, and that's how I think I got spotted," Ashwin told Hindustan Times in interview.
"I feel very excited [to be a part of RPS]. We all know how big a player [MS] Dhoni is. I'm ready to take up the responsibility. I'm ready to deliver."
With RPS picking the player, the bowler will be playing with the likes of MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin, who are all a part of the new franchise for IPL 2016. The team will be coached by the former Chennai Super Kings boss, Stephen Fleming, who was quite impressed with Aswhin when the leggie bowled to some of the CSK players during a net session.
"I feel it was during the CSK net bowling that I was spotted. I feel that was one big day for me. The very first day I caught Stephen Fleming's eye," Ashwin said.
After bagging the mega deal during the auction, M Ashwin has high hopes as he, like other uncapped players, will be keen to impress and eventually play for India.
"I see IPL as a big opportunity. If I perform well in this, and if the selectors feel I have it in me, maybe I'll represent India one day. But it all depends on this IPL season," Ashwin said.