Ashwin, The Leader
Now, to the most interesting bit – Ashwin, the leader. The more you listen to Ashwin talk tactics in post-match presentations, press conferences and interviews, you realise, one, how tactically sharp the offie is, and two, how much thought he puts behind everything he does on the field.
It is common for the tinkerman to set his own fields and display leadership qualities in crunch situations, but in the absence of India’s full-time captain, these qualities have been further highlighted.
After India’s 36-run capitulation at Adelaide, the way Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and Jasprit Bumrah formed a leadership group along with Ajinkya Rahane, with Ashwin even leading the conversation in the huddle at times, was refreshing to see. The way he spoke his mind about racial abuse in Sydney and stood by Mohammed Siraj was also admirable.
When India were challenged with serious adversity, with them fighting to save the Test match after being battered and bruised, Ashwin took on…