India’s team selection for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in 2021 raised eyebrows when they opted for the spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja instead of an extra seamer. However, former chief selector MSK Prasad believes that India should not overlook the possibility of playing both spinners in the upcoming WTC 2023 final against Australia in London.
In the previous WTC final, India’s decision to field two spinners backfired as pacers dominated the game in overcast conditions. Ashwin, who didn’t feature in the 2021-22 series in England, has a good track record in England, taking 18 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 28. MSK Prasad emphasized that Jadeja’s recent form makes him a strong contender as a specialist batter, while Ashwin’s ability to take wickets on any surface cannot be ignored.
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“Jadeja has been in such good form lately that he can play as a specialist batter. It’s a tough call considering what both bring to the table. Ashwin has 400 plus wickets and the ability to bowl on any surface. If it comes to that, it will be a very tough call,” during a chat with PTI, MSK Prasad stated.
However, MSK Prasad also noted that the conditions will be crucial in determining whether India opts for two spinners or not. Jadeja had a decent outing with the bat in recent Tests, scoring 170 runs, and his batting prowess could earn him a place in the playing XI ahead of Ashwin.
Prasad acknowledged that the team’s plans for the WTC final against New Zealand were not adjusted properly due to rain, but he emphasized the importance of adapting to the conditions at The Oval. He urged the team to keep an open mind and make decisions based on the pitch and weather conditions during the five-day match.
Jadeja, who played a pivotal role in Chennai Super Kings’ triumph in the IPL 2023, has joined the Indian squad in Sussex, carrying his confidence from the successful campaign. With 20 wickets and crucial contributions with the bat in the IPL final, Jadeja’s presence adds depth to the team’s lineup.
As the much-anticipated WTC final approaches, India will carefully consider their team composition, taking into account the conditions and the unique strengths that both Ashwin and Jadeja bring to the table.