Gujarat’s Ashwin Meets India’s Ashwin In Nagpur

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Gujarat’s Ashwin Meets India’s Ashwin In Nagpur

| Updated: February 8, 2023 13:48

While he may not be an the true doppelganger, Baroda cricketer Mahesh Pithiya, is popularly known as Ashwin for a similar prowess when it comes to wielding the ball. And finally, on Tuesday, Mahesh came face to face with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin at Nagpur ahead of the first Test match between India and Australia.

“I was thrilled as Ashwin Sir recognized me. I walked up to him and excitedly narrated how his bowling performances have helped me learn a lot. He was his usual calm and asked me a few questions about my bowling style and practice,” Mahesh shared with scribes.

The 21-year-old was hanging out at the stadium in Nagpur on Tuesday, hoping to meet Ashwin.

“Nathan Lyon learnt about it and took me to meet Ashwin,” he added. “Ashwin Sir said he knows about me, added a few words of appreciation and asked me to keep practicing. I won’t forget this moment as I actually met someone I have been idolizing for years. Even Virat Kohli spotted me on the ground and waved affectionately,” Mahesh, who got Steve Smith out a few times in the nets, said.

When asked if there was any conversation on Australian batsmen’s weaknesses, Mahesh smiled and refused to comment. 

It was exactly a decade ago that Mahesh saw R. Ashwin bowl against the West Indian team live on television. He hit headlines recently when he was invited by the Aussies, who saw his video, and invited him to bowl in the nets. Mahesh’s stride and release are very similar to Ashwin. 

A native of Junagadh and the son of a farm labourer, he moved to Vadodara in 2014 and joined the Motibaug Cricket Club. He has even worked as a help at a tea stall to make ends meet and if not for support from his elder brother, his dream of playing professional cricket, would have been short-lived. 

When the Australians visited India for the Border Gavaskar Trophy, Mahesh’s friend and throwdown specialist, Pritesh Joshi, sent his video to the Aussies, who promptly called him to Bangalore for the practice sessions. 

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