Chennai, October 24: R Ashwin has not been in India's white ball scheme of things since 2017 with the emergence of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. And then there are other younger wrist spinners like Mayank Markande and Washington Sundar in contention in T20s and ODIs.
But Ashwin, who recently became the joint fastest to 350 Test wickets, said his hopes of making a comeback into white-ball cricket is very much alive.
"I consider myself one of the best, if not the best spinner in Twenty20 cricket. I had a very good IPL last year. I don't think age is a factor. Imran Tahir is 40. I have the variety and the experience. My hopes are alive," Ashwin was quoted as saying by the Hindu.
"I am just enjoying my bowling. I am like a 10-year-old when I have the ball in my hands. Nothing gives me greater joy. Bowling is like therapy to me. It connects me to my inner self. I am not the same person I was. I am not as intense as before. I just want to bring the joy back," he added.
The veteran Tamil Nadu off-spinner, who was the leading wicket-taker against South Africa in the Test series with 15 wickets, said Virat Kohli deserved every bit of credit coming his way after leading India to several series wins.
"Virat has led from the front. He has captained India to so many series wins. He deserves credit. Whenever I have had a conversation with Shastri, he comes up with something useful. With the team winning so much, the atmosphere within has to be good," he said.
Kohli recently opined that the points system of the ICC World Test Championship should be altered to give more points for away series wins. Ashwin concurred. "It is more challenging to win in somebody else's home, gives you more satisfaction. Virat has a point," he said.
In the just-concluded Test series against South Africa, spinners took 32 wickets while pacers were not far behind with 26 wickets. Ashwin rated the Indian attack a complete one.
"We have a very good bunch of pacemen. Then we have the spinners. We have a complete attack and we put runs on the board. It is never about one individual," he added.