A tall offspinner who bowls with a high-arm action and is studying to be an engineer, R Ashwin has some uncanny similarities with S Venkataraghavan, but for the moment the comparison should end there. Ashwin is taking his first steps in Ranji Trophy cricket. He made big strides in his debut season in 2006-07, leading the wickets tally for Tamil Nadu with 31 scalps at under 20. He was impressive the following the season with both bat and ball before a wrist injury unfortunately forced him out for four weeks in the middle of the season. He later made it to the Chennai Super Kings squad in the inaugural Indian Premier League. Ashwin continued to perform consistently at the domestic level, earning a Grade D contract by the BCCI, and under his captaincy Tamil Nadu were crowned Indian domestic one-day champions in 2009. He earned his first call-up for India, for the home ODIs against South Africa in early 2010, after Harbhajan Singh opted out of the first couple of games due to personal commitments. He was a revelation in the IPL with his miserly spells with the new ball, conceding only 6.10 runs per over and taking 13 wickets. He followed that with a near-spotless performance in the 2010 Champions League where his Man-of-the-Series performance helped Chennai lift the big prize. Ashwin's growing confidence and widening repertoire of tricks will keep him in the frame for a consistent run for India in the shorter formats.