Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin finished 2015 as the No. 1 bowler in Tests.Reuters

Team India ace spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, was praised by former Indian cricketer Venkatapathi Raju for becoming the No. 1 bowler in the ICC Test rankings.

Ashwin became the first Indian bowler after Bishan Singh Bedi to finish a year on top of the ICC rankings. Bedi achieved that feat way back in 1973. 

Ashwin's variations, his ability to adapt to different conditions and his knack of picking up wickets at regular intervals makes him the best in business, according to the former left-arm spinner. 

"He has got fantastic variations and he adapts himself in three formats of the game which is difficult," Raju qas quoted as saying by PTI. "I think, in between he tried something which did not click and he came back to his own bowling.

"We had Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and lot of spinners who were strike bowlers and now I think he is our main strike bowler. Any captain will be more than happy to have him. 

"Bhajji did this for long time and Kumble did it for longer time and they all had good support bowlers. So, we have other good support bowlers to support him very well.

"He's the number one bowler now. His wicket-taking ability is amazing and he's got very good variations and we should appreciate somebody who is a matchwinner."

Ashwin was the second highest wicket-taker across all formats in 2015, just behind Mitchell Starc. He picked up 62 wickets in nine Test matches and was instrumental in defeating Sri Lanka and South Africa. Ashwin was adjudged the man of the series for his performances against the Lankans and the Proteas.

"I think he doesn't have to try much and just bowl the way he knows. People now realise all over the world that he can be a matchwinner and he's has been doing that now again and again," Raju added. 

"As a spinner [myself] I am happy that spinners are winning more man-of-the series nowadays which is good for us."  

Ashwin will be a crucial option for MS Dhoni when India will face the world champions Australia in a five-match ODI and three-game T20I series. The five-match ODI series will start from 12 January and the first ODI will be played at the WACA in Perth.