Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta has given his say on Ravichandran Ashwin not playing in the first Test against England in Nottingham. After performing fairly well in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand and in one County Championship match which he played, Ashwin was expected to walk into India’s playing XI.
However, with the conditions favourable to the seamers, India went with a four-man pace attack at Trent Bridge. A lone spinner in Ravindra Jadeja was selected at no. 7. Since Day one, this selection of Jadeja over Ashwin has been talked about a little bit but Dasgupta made a different point. According to the cricketer turned commentator, the competition is not between Jadeja and Ashwin but Ashwin and Shardul Thakur.
The Mumbai pacer has shown his abilities to hang around with the bat and was favoured as the team was confident he can give some handy runs at the end. While Ashwin at no. 8 provides a good option as a lower-order batter, the conditions in England have not been favourable enough to play two spinners. Jadeja, on the other hand, remains a better batting option at no. 7 ahead of Ashwin.
I would be really surprised if India make any changes for the second Test match: Deep Dasgupta
“Lot of people have been asking this question and talking about how there is a competition between Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. But personally, I think it is not between Jadeja and Ashwin, it’s more between Shardul and Ashwin. That’s more of a tactical decision that the Indian management needs to make,” Deep Dasgupta said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast.
He further said that it is between Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari that India is currently trying to decide their no.6 or no. 7 batter. Jadeja didn’t bowl a lot in the first Test and didn’t pick a wicket. But, his handy knock of 56 runs would be something that would play on Virat Kohli’s mind while selection.
Shardul, on the other hand, managed to pick up four wickets in the Test match and was impressive with the ball. He managed only a six-ball duck in the first innings with the bat. Dasgupta further said that he would be surprised if India makes any changes for the second Test.
“I would be really surprised if they make any changes for the second Test match. As far as fast bowling is concerned, they have bowled a total of 150 overs, that’s all right. Also, the fact that there was this one month break before this Test match. They have had enough time to relax and chill and rest,” Dasgupta said.