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Chennai’s R. Ashwin, first Indian bowler to top ICC’s year-end ranking in 42 years

India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday, terming him as an asset for the side on whom he always relies on.

Ashwin finished 2015 as the top-ranked Test bowler. Ashwin achieved the top spot for the first time in his career after injury prevented South African pacer Dale Steyn from bowling more than 3.5 overs in England’s second innings in the Durban Test.

The Chennai-born spinner finished 2015 as the most successful bowler with 62 wickets in nine Tests, including seven five-wicket hauls and best figures of 7/66. This was reflected in his ranking after he started the year in 15th and slowly but surely moved to the top.

“Ashwin is a very different bowler. He thinks always while he is bowling. He is very positive on the field. I have always told him to focus on his bowling and not anything else. He has been an asset for Indian team for long. I rely on him always be it in the start or a the death overs. Ashwin makes my work easy when fast bowlers are not performing well,” Dhoni said at a press conference before leaving for Australia on Tuesday.

After bowling outstandingly well throughout the year, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ended the year 2015 as the top ranked Test bowler in ICC rankings, released on Thursday.Ravichandran Ashwin: Wicket of AB de Villiers in Nagpur my most satisfying scalp of 2015

This makes the Chennai spinner first India bowler since Bishen Singh Bedi in 1973 to achieve the feat of finishing the y
ear on top.

Mainstay of the Indian bowling line-up, Ashwin took 62 wickets in nine Tests this year, including 31 scalps in the four matches against South Africa in the Freedom series.

Ashwin recently achieved the number-one spot for the first time in his career, replacing injured South African Dale Steyn. The Proteas fast bowler could only bowled 3.5 overs in England’s second innings in the Durban Test.

 In fact, its a double delight for the 29-year-old Indian tweaker, who also ended the year as top-ranked Test all-rounder.

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