To take case of Zaheer first, for all his exploits in Test cricket across continents, his limited-overs form has been a bit up and down for his captain’s comfort, especially so in T20s. In his 14 T20 international appearances, Zaheer has taken 14 wickets with an economy rate of almost eight runs an over. Eight of those wickets, came in 2009 when he was at the peak of his career across all formats. Ravaged by injuries and advancing years, much of Zaheer’s utility in the shortest version has been on the wane.
Like fast bowlers, it’s important for spinners too to operate as a pair. In that sense, we compliment each other very well. On wickets that suit him, Ashwin will be on the offensive, and on wickets that suit me I will be more aggressive. It’s all about understanding the methods and character of your partner. Yes, it does help me a lot that Ashwin is at the other end because we are of the same age, and have played a lot of cricket together
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo