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Ashwin plays a starring role in the Indian success story

Last updated on: March 25, 2013 07:15 IST

Ashwin plays a starring role in the Indian success story

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R Ashwin faced a lot of criticism after a lacklustre showing against England. Many then wondered whether he would be able to carry the Indian spin legacy ahead.

He struggled against England, bagging just 14 wickets at an average of 52, while Pragyan Ojha had a better record, with 20 wickets, at an average of 30.

But the Chennai off-spinner banished all doubts about his bowling with a superlative performance against Australia that also firmly established him as India's lead spinner.

Ashwin finished with 29 wickets in the series and emerged the top wicket taker in the series as Australia were consigned to a humiliating 4-0 whitewash.

"Being the lead bowler, he performed really well in this series. Whenever we needed an important wicket, he was always there," captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said, paying tribute to his role in India's success.



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Ashwin had four five-wicket hauls against Australia

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Ashwin started the series with 12 wickets in the first Test at Chennai, playing a major role in India's eight-wicket victory. He took career best figures of seven for 103 in the first innings and followed that up with five for 95 in the second.

The off-spinner took another five-wicket haul in the second Test at Hyderabad as Australia were crushed by an innings and 135 runs.

He continued his 'wicket ways' in the last two Tests as Australia continued to flounder against spin.

He ended with four five-wicket hauls in the series when he took five for 57 in the first innings at Delhi to set up India's easy six-wicket win. 



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Ashwin now has 92 wickets in 16 Tests

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With Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha falling way below in the pecking order, it is now upon Ashwin to lead India's spin department in the next few years.

He boasts of an impressive record of 92 wickets in 16 Tests and will is now eying Erapalli Prasanna's Indian record of the quickest to 100 wickets (20 Tests).

Ashwin's real challenge will come in the next few series when India travels to South Africa, New Zealand and England. His performance overseas will determine whether he has it in him to continue India's rich tradition of producing great spinners. 




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