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...Now, with a 27-wicket haul against New Zealand that set up a whitewash in the recently-concluded Test series, Ashwin has taken the Rajini route to achieve cult status. Tamil Nadu has had many cult figures in cinema and politics, but cricket, despite being a passion here, strangely hasn’t produced home-grown cult figures. The likes of S Venkataraghavan or Krishnamachari Srikkanth – both former Indian captains – enjoyed a huge following during their playing days, but they never quite became the ‘gods’ of the masses. The only cricketer who has come close to becoming an icon because of his Chennai connections is MS Dhoni. His biopic dubbed in Tamil is a huge success in Chennai, there are larger than life cutouts of the Jharkhand bomber whenever he plays in the city – and all these can be attributed to his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) connection. ...TOI on Oct. 13, 2016, 7 a.m.