Ravichandran Ashwin is the second-ranked Test bowler in the ICC rankings but Indian team management isn’t bothered by it. They haven’t included Ashwin in a single Test during the ongoing England Test series.
Everyone was certain Ashwin will get his place during the fourth Test of the series at The Kia Oval, which is England’s most spin-friendly surface. But, to everyone’s surprise, Ashwin is warming the bench once again.
Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has an explanation of giving Ravindra Jadeja a go-ahead of India’s premier spinner. Kohli feels Jadeja can exploit the footmarks against the left-handers.
“We would have bowled first as well but toss isn’t something you can control. Need to be prepared for either. We’re looking forward to putting runs on the board. Two changes – Ishant and Shami have niggles – Umesh and Shardul are back. For us, it’s about partnerships, we can’t focus too much on individuals,” Kohli said at the toss.
“England has four left-handers, so a good match-up for Jadeja, with our seamers bowling over the wicket will create the footmarks. Also factors in his balance at No.7. The opening partnership has been amazing for us, it’s about getting together as batsmen. A few days left on this tour, the series is poised beautifully, and no shortage of effort, for sure,” he added.
Ashwin has been India’s most successful spinner in the recent past and has taken wickets in every part of the world. During the Australia Test series earlier this year, Ashwin troubled Steve Smith throughout the series and kept him quiet.
Ashwin could have been the last throw of the dice India would have tried in their pursuit to find a way past Joe Root, who is scoring runs for fun during this series.