Ashwin Ravichandran is a thinking cricketer who is constantly reinventing himself, said former India batsman VVS Laxman, insisting that preparation is key to the senior off-spinner’s success.

Ashwin recently became the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets, when he achieved the feat by dismissing Jofra Archer in the pink ball Test at Ahmedabad, which the hosts won by 10 wickets under two days.

Data check: Ashwin Ravichandran’s journey to 400 Test wickets keeps him in elite company

Ashwin, 34, also became the second fastest bowler to reach the land-mark after Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan.

“I think he’s (Ashwin) a very intelligent person. When you’re playing at the highest level then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution is so critical.

“So, he works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself,” Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests, said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.

To prove his point, Laxman cited the example of Steve Smith’s troubles against Ashwin during India’s recent of Australia.

“We saw recently in the Australia series how he (Ashwin) troubled someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he said.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra too lavished praise on Ashwin, saying he is one of the biggest match winners the country has ever produced.

“To play 78 Test matches and get 400 wickets. Let the naysayers be. He has been absolute phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler, he’s picking a lot of wickets. So, that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely,” said Chopra.

“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match winners that India has ever produced. Of course Anil Kumble will still remain at No 1,” added the 43-year-old, who has played 10 Tests for the country.

(With inputs from PTI)