The Indian T20 League has become a staple source of the two things that Indians keep very close to their heart - Cricket and Bollywood. It is this unique combination that has been working out for the League to flourish in India and all over the world for the past decade or so. This has also helped up and coming youngsters to perform for their team, thus paving them a way to their International career which will be representing India on the global stage. One of the players who has successfully milked this opportunity clean is Ravichandran Ashwin or 'Ash' as he is called affectionately by this teammates.
The offie had a successful season not just in the IPL but also in the Champions T20 League while playing for Chennai. He was grabbing wickets in the Powerplay and the slog overs and was economical as well. Owing to his impressive show Ashwin earned his maiden-national call-up. He made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in June 2010 and the same month he represented India in the shortest format.
Later in the year, in a series against New Zealand at home Ashwin ended as the leading wicket-taker and was praised for his fine bowling. With Harbhajan Singh as India’s go-to spinner, Ashwin’s chances were limited but he did manage to seal a spot in India’s World cup squad of 2011.
In November 2011, Ashwin finally received his Test cap in a series against West Indies. He had a memorable start to his Test career. On his Test debut at Delhi, Ashwin grabbed nine wickets and continued his sublime form in the next few games. In the third test, he grabbed yet another 5-wicket haul in the first innings and scored his maiden Test ton, he followed that up with four more wickets in the second innings.
In his first Test series, Ashwin was named the Player of the Series. Since then, he has cemented his spot in India’s squad across formats. He was a perfect replacement for Harbhajan Singh. At the end of 2012, Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to take 50 Test wickets but was later overtaken by Jasprit Bumrah. The following year he grabbed his 100th Test wicket making him the fastest Indian to do so. He was also one of the leading wicket-takers for India in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
Gradually, Ashwin became one of the best spinners in World Cricket. In 2015 while playing against South Africa in the Freedom Trophy, he was the star performer for India. The following year while playing against New Zealand, Ashwin grabbed 27 wickets in 3 Tests. He was named the ICC Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year in 2016. However, Ashwin has not been able to replicate his performances in overseas conditions and found it tough to become a regular in the XI. Having said that, he remains an integral part of India’s Test squad.
After Chennai's two-year ban in the Indian T20 League, Ashwin played for Pune and Punjab and in the 2020 edition, Delhi bought him and retained him for the next season in 2021. In the mega auction of 2022, Ashwin was bagged by Rajasthan for INR 5 crores. Ashwin has not had the best time in white-ball cricket, but he has always been on the radar. The off-spinner continues to put in impressive performances which only makes it tough for the selectors to ignore him.