Ashwin, 34, is the highest Test wicket-taker in the current Indian team with 375 scalps and was instrumental in India’s win over Australia in Melbourne in the ongoing Test series.
“Ashwin knows exactly what he wants to do…He has been to Australia and now he doesn’t have to play for his spot. That’s the most important thing for a player,” Ojha told Sports Today.
“Once you don’t have the fear of getting dropped from the team over poor performance, then your body language changes. You have a little bit of cushion to do certain things.”
Ashwin has taken 10 wickets in the two matches so far, thus making him the joint highest-wicket taker in the series with Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins. His most significant contribution has been that he has dismissed the dangerous Steve Smith twice this series before the former Australia captain could make a significant contribution to the hosts’ scoreline.
“A guy who has picked up 375 Test wickets, I think, he should be a good planner. But the only difference I see is (that) mentally he is there. He thinks that it’s he who has to do well for his team and he is the leader of the bowling unit,” Ojha said.
“He is not worried about the alien conditions. Normally, when you are travelling to Australia as a rookie, you don’t know how the wickets are going to be or the Kookaburra ball is going to help you. Ashwin has gone past all these and he knows whatever the situation is, he will deliver,” the former India spinner added.