From left: India’s current spin trio, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Amit Mishra © AFP

India have traditionally enjoyed the services of some outstanding spin bowlers over the course of their cricketing history. From Vinoo Mankad, Subash Gupte, and Ghulam Ahmed to Bishan Bedi, EAS Prasanna, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, to Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, India have usually had at least one — and usually two — spinner who has won them games time and again. For a while it looked like India’s usually-healthy spin cupboard had finally turned bare: Ravichandran Ashwin had yet to evolve to the bowler he is today. Ravindra Jadeja was more of a line-and-length bowler. Amit Mishra was erratic. Harbhajan was past his prime. Akshar Patel was not ready for the big league. READ: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra: A throwback to an older era of Indian cricket

Over the last couple of series though, India’s spinners have slowly started taking centre-stage. Ashwin has enjoyed a phenomenal year in every format. While his overseas numbers still leave a lot to be desired, he seems like a more mature and calm bowler now than he was even two years ago. Jadeja was always consistent but for a brief period following an injury he seemed to have lost his ability to keep pegging away with minor, but effective, variations. He proved first in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 and then against South Africa that he is well and truly back.

Mishra is one of the unluckiest Indian cricketers in the last few years. From being perpetually on the fringes of the side he was completely ignored, then given a brief recall during ICC World T20 2014 before again being dropped. He too has performed admirably in the last couple of series against Sri Lanka and South Africa. Akshar is yet to win a match on his own, but his domestic performances keep improving with every game. It seems inevitable that he too will find success. Meanwhile, Harbhajan seems to be on something of a comeback trail as well, having got a look-in for India’s Test and ODI teams recently, with reasonable success. READ: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja prey on batsmen’s doubts in India vs South Africa

And then there are the spinners in domestic cricket. KS Monish currently leads the list of wicket-takers in Ranji Trophy 2015-16, followed by Akshay Wakhare, Jalaj Saxena, and Shahbaz Nadeem. The likes of Pragyan Ojha, Kamlesh Makvana, Ankit Sharma, Vishal Dabholkar, Rahil Shah, Malolan Rangarajan, and Aamir Gani have also done well. That said, it has been a trend in Ranji Trophy recently that the pitches either turn square or seam and swing like a roadrunner on caffeine from Day One, so perhaps one should not look too deeply into the First-Class numbers this season.

The point remains that India are no longer lacking in the spin department. Ashwin is possibly the best spinner in world cricket at present, and the backup net of Jadeja, Mishra, Akshar, and Harbhajan means that, for now, India’s spin cupboard is far from bare. READ: India’s Test series win over South Africa masks discrepancies

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)