IND vs ENG 2nd Test: Three former England captains Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan were taken aback that Ravichandran Ashwin, World’s best Test spinner at present, did not find a place in Virat Kohli’s Team India’s Playing XI. They questioned Team India’s decision but Kohli justified saying a template with 4 seamers and one spinner will be the way forward with Ravindra Jadeja coming in as a better batsman than Ashwin. It will only change if the conditions permit. That raises the question, does Virat Kohli’s Team India not have a place in Team India’s Playing XI?
The question doesn’t have a simple answer. Had the pitch been dry with plenty of sunshine that would crack open a surface, Ashwin would have been the 1st choice spinner. But in England’s overcast conditions, Virat Kohli’s four-seam option seems legit as Jadeja returned with zero wickets from the Trent Bridge Test. In addition, Jadeja scoring a half-century has also complicated matters.
IND vs ENG 2nd Test: Does Ashwin not have a place in Team India?
Even though Ravichandran Ashwin’s record in SENA countries is far superior to Jadeja, it’s his batting that trumps the best spinner of this generation. In England, Ravichandran Ashwin has 18 wickets in 11 innings while Jadeja has 17. However, Jadeja has scored 363 runs in 13 innings with an average of 30.25 in England with the bat while Ashwin has 261 runs in 14 innings at an average of 23.72.
IND vs ENG 2nd Test: Why should Ashwin play ahead of Ravindra Jadeja?
- Ashwin was the highest wicket-taker in the 1st World Test Championship cycle.
- Against England at home, Ashwin bagged 32 wickets, destroying England’s famed batting.
- The likes of Jonny Bairstow struggled against Ashwin although on turning tracks.
- R Ashwin proved handy with the bat too, scoring a century in Chennai and has proved time and again that he is an able batsman much like Jadeja.
- Ashwin is in great form with the ball, scalping six wickets in a County match for Surrey.
IND vs ENG 2nd Test: Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling in SENA countries:
IND vs ENG 2nd Test: Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling in SENA countries:
It is Jadeja’s slight advantage in batting that has played in favour of getting picked ahead of Ashwin. Even in the 1st Test at Trent Bridge, Jadeja scored a half-century that helped India stretch the lead to 95 runs. Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has also proposed Ashwin’s name over Jadeja.
- In England, Jadeja’s batting average is 30.25.
- He has 3 half-centuries in 13 innings in England, helping him get picked ahead of Ashwin.
- The half-century in the 1st Test also helped.
“I will like to bring in Ashwin. I feel he was dropped wrongly in the first match. I am bringing a bowler who has greater chances of taking wickets on a good pitch. I will play three seamers – Shami, Bumrah. I don’t know if Ishant is fit but I will go with Siraj because he has the capability to take five wickets,” he said.
However, the other thing that goes against Ravichandran Ashwin is his poor record at Lord’s. In the only Tets he played at the venue, he went wicketless, conceding runs at 4.00 economy rate. Jadeja in his defence has three wickets at the venue.