The ace Indian off-spinner has stood out with his all-round performances in the longest format of the game over the last couple of months, firstly in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and then in the two Tests against England. This has led to calls in certain quarters for his inclusion in the Indian white-ball setup as well.
During the latest edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra shared their views on the qualities that set R Ashwin apart.
Gambhir termed R Ashwin's continued absence from the Indian limited-overs teams as "unfortunate", considering his outstanding record in Test match cricket.
"Someone who is coming close to taking 400 wickets and the same time getting five Test hundreds and still not being part of the white-ball scheme of things is very unfortunate. He is just a class act," said the former Indian opener.
The cricketer-turned-commentator lauded R Ashwin for his stellar career and match-winning contributions.
"He is just a quality bowler and his subtle variations. The amount of cricket he has played and the longevity he has played with and still the kind of impact he has had, it is just unbelievable," observed Gambhir.
"R Ashwin is a good student of the game" - Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra highlighted R Ashwin has made the best use of his experience and always raised his game in helpful home conditions.
"This is not the first time that Ravichandran Ashwin has made such a big impact when you are playing at home. When you talk about how he is so different, first thing of course he has so much experience and so much confidence when you are playing at home, when he knows these wickets are going to be helpful to him," said Nehra.
The former Indian pacer concluded by pointing out that R Ashwin has always shown the urge to add to his bowling repertoire, and has also worked on his fitness of late.
"He is a good student of the game. We have always seen that he wants to learn. There were some fitness problems with him. We heard coach Ravi Shastri say that he is working hard on his fitness, so he can bowl long spells and he enjoys bowling long spells," signed off Nehra.
R Ashwin has scalped 394 wickets in the 76 Tests he has played. He is on the cusp of becoming the second-fastest bowler to 400 Test wickets, just behind Muttiah Muralitharan, who achieved the distinction in 72 matches.
Richard Hadlee and Dale Steyn follow the Sri Lankan legend currently, both of them having taken 80 Tests to reach the milestone.