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The importance Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian team was spelt out by former Australia batsman Michael Hussey even as the visitors entered the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, which got underway on Friday at Perth.
Ashwin, who took six wickets in the first Test at Adelaide Oval, was ruled out of the second Test due to a left abdominal strain.
"It'll definitely throw the team balance out quite a lot I would have thought," Hussey, who played 79 Tests for Australia during his career, was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.
Hussey believes the loss of star off-spinner Ashwin to injury could unsettle India and may prove to be a big blow to the visitors' hopes of securing victory in the second Test.
"You could tell quite clearly in Adelaide they liked to use the spinner - much like Australia really - to bowl a lot of overs from one end and then rotate the faster men from the other end."
Ashwin had returned figures of 6 for 149 from 86.5 overs in India's 31-run win over Australia in Adelaide.
In Ashwin's absence, India went for a four-pronged pace attack in the second Test -- only for the third time in their Test history.
After the opening day of the second Test, Australia were 277 for six with Time Paine and Pat Cummins at the crease.
(With PTI inputs)