Ravichandran Ashwin, who is currently India's best bowler, has been shouldering the bowling responsibility for some time now. The off-spinner will also hold the key for India in their upcoming tour of Australia, comprising of 5 ODIs and 3 T20s.
India skipper MS Dhoni heaped praised on Ashwin for his performances, stating the spinner is a "thinking cricketer". "He [Ashwin] is slightly different. He is a thinking cricketer. He thinks a lot about his bowling which is a positive," said Dhoni.
Ashwin has been the go-to man for Dhoni, who has used him in the most difficult of situations – slog overs as well as early in the innings. Whenever Dhoni, who believes Ashwin makes his work easier on the field, brings him to bowl, there is an air of expectation, that the lanky spinner will grab a crucial wicket or two.
"He is not someone who has bowled after the 10 -- from 11th to 35th. I have used him in the first 10 and also from 40-45," Dhoni added. "He just makes my job slightly easy, especially for a consistent period of time when my fast bowlers have not done well.
"It is good to have him and I think he is a great asset to the side irrespective of the format."
The game of cricket with technical advancements has taken away the mystery element, with players able to watch videos and understand every aspect of their opponents. Hence, there is a serious need for players to bring something new to surprise the opponents in every new series, which Ashwin is expected to do.
Apart from Ashwin, there are other spinners in the team such as Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, who will fight it out for the second spinner spot. Though it remains to be seen if Dhoni adopts two spinners or goes ahead with Ashwin alone in Australia, where pitches are more suited to the seamers.
"Yes, conditions are different for the spinners in the subcontinent and outside. Ashwin is our premier spinner and it is good to have Jadeja back. The two spinning all-rounders will be competing for a spot. Axar has also played well in domestic cricket."