IPL 2014: Can Ashwin actually live up to the Maxwell challenge?

Zee Media Bureau/ Suyash Srivastava

New Delhi: Ravichandran Ashwin is Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s go-to man whenever he needs a wicket, but the off-spinner has been slaughtered by Kings XI Punjab star batsman Glenn Maxwell this season in the Indian Premier League.

Ashwin, who dismissed Maxwell with a carrom ball in the recently concluded World Twenty20, has conceded 64 runs off the 24 balls he has bowled to the right-hander in IPL 7. Maxwell, who was bought by Kings XI Punjab this year, played two scintillating innings against CSK, and won both the matches single-handedly for his team.

The rivalry between Ashwin and Maxwell went to new heights when the off-spinner expressed his views about bowling to the Australian all-rounder in Qualifier 2. After CSK`s win against Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator, Ashwin had a message for Maxwell where he said the right-hander can expect him to bowl from over the wicket to him in Qualifier 2.

Such was Maxwell`s form in the intial phase of the tournament that MS Dhoni even compared him to the likes of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.

"Maxwell batted exceptionally well and he was supported by the other batsmen as well. You need some serious talent to hit those sixes one after the other. He is someone who is very different, like Sehwag or Tendulkar and he is batting at his best," Dhoni said after Maxwell`s 38-ball 90 against CSK.

While CSK comprehensively defeated the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians in the previous match, Maxwell could prove to be a big hurdle for them ahead of their sixth IPL final. And now that Ashwin went on air with message to Maxwell, the spectators can expect a thrilling battle between the two.

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