According to Shastri, India's R Ashwin is "the best off-spinner in the world at the moment." Speaking to BCCI's official website on Monday (September 14), Shastri heaped praise on the Tamil Nadu spinner for his brilliant performance in the recently concluded Test series in Sri Lanka.
"Ashwin was amazing in Sri Lanka. And that's because he was patient and relaxed. For him to understand his own bowling and what the team needs off him was the need of the hour. And I think he has realised that," Shastri said of Ashwin.
Shastri said Ashwin has got the "brain of an astronaut". "We know he has got the brain of an astronaut. He has combined that intelligence with calmness and patience now. That bodes well for us because now the astronaut's mind is helping Team India take flight.
"For me Ashwin is the best off-spinner in the world at the moment. Nathan Lyon is a very good off-spinner but the variety this man can bring to the plate is unreal. The biggest testament to Ashwin's brilliance was the way he bowled to Kumar Sangakkara. To stifle a class batsman like Sanga in his crease four times in a row was the mark of a world-class spinner who has realised that he is a world-class spinner," Shastri said.
Ashwin will be a key bowler for India as the team gets ready to face South Africa at home in a 4-Test series starting in November.