Ravichandran Ashwin identifies the weaknesses of batsmen and plans his deliveries accordingly. This is what has made one of the best bowlers and so difficult to play, said former India batsman VVS Laxman.

“I think he’s a very intelligent person. When you’re playing at the highest level, then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution is so critical,” Laxman said on Star Sports.

“He works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself. We saw recently in the Australia series how he troubled, someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he further said.

During the third Test in the ongoing series against England, Ashwin reached the milestone of 400 wickets in the longest format. In the match which ended at the Motera Stadium on Thursday, the off-spinner took 7 wickets in the match to take his overall tally to 401.

“78 Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be, he’s been absolute phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler he’s picking a lot of wickets,” said former batsman Akash Chopra.

“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match winners India has ever produced, of course Anil Kumble will still remain at no. 1,” he further said.

Ashwin, 34, who also became the second-fastest bowler to reach the 400 Test wicket-mark after Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, said that he watched a lot of old videos of great individual performances in the lock-down helped improve his understanding of the game.