Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri believes R Ashwin will be instrumental during Border-Gavaskar Trophy, scheduled to commence from February 9 in Nagpur. Team India will hope to make a statement right from the first Test as the hosts seek to retain the prestigious title for the third time on the trot.

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While Australian batters have already sensed the Ashwin threat and have prepared well with one of the Indian spinners, who has an identical style of bowling as Ashwin, Shastri feels Ashwin’s basics might turn out to be lethal for Australia.

“If Ashwin is one fire, that might decide the outcome of the series. He is world-class in most conditions but in Indian conditions, he is lethal. If the ball starts spinning and there is enough bite off the surface, he will trouble most batters," Shastri said. While responding to queries, Shastri opined an important suggestion for R Ashwin.

“Ashwin, you don’t want him to over-plan. He is good enough to stick to his plans as he is real crucial player here. His form might decide the series. Ashwin comes as a package; he will get you important runs as well. So, you don't want Ashwin to over-think and try too many things. Just keep it there and let the pitch do the rest because as it is, it does enough in India," Shastri added.

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India's former head coach further stated that Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are pretty similar in style, and Kuldeep Yadav should be the third spinner in the squad. "If anyone spins it on Day 1, it will be Kuldeep. If the track doesn't have too much on offer, then Kuldeep can come into play," Shastri added.