Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has named veteran India spinner R Ashwin as one player whose form could decide the fate of the Border-Gavaskar series as well. India will take on Australia in the first Test of the four-match series at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur as well. While speaking at a press conference organized by Star Sports, Shastri said Ashwin will be crucial for India as well.
“Ashwin, you don’t want him to over-plan. He is good enough to stick to his plans as he is real crucial player here. His form might decide the series. Ashwin comes as a package, he will get you important runs as well,” said Ravi Shastri. “If Ashwin is on fire, then that might decide the outcome of the series. He is world class in most conditions but in Indian conditions, he is lethal. If the ball starts spinning and there is enough bite off the surface, he will trouble most batters. So, you don’t want Ashwin to over-think and try too many things.”
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He also added that he would pick Kuldeep Yadav as the third spin-bowling option, saying that Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are pretty similar bowlers. The veteran has also said Kuldeep will be very useful for India if the track does not offer too many turns as well.
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“As far as third spinner is concerned, I would like to see Kuldeep play straightaway. Jadeja and Axar are pretty similar bowlers. Kuldeep is different. If you lose the toss on Day 1, you need someone who will give it a rip. If anyone spins it one Day 1, it will be Kuldeep. If the track doesn’t have too much on offer, then Kuldeep can come into play. As the game progresses with the fast bowlers the Australians have, the rough created on both sides of the track will come into play. So, wrist spinners can get the ball to turn back in and out both ways,” Ravi Shastri concluded.