Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell believes that Team India needs to find a way to accommodate Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI. He believes the right combination needs to be found by Virat Kohli and co. in order to stay at the top of World Test cricket and that involves bringing Ashwin into the fold.
Going into the 5-match Test series against England, much of the debate around India’s team was the combination of pacers and spinners they would pick. Kohli surprised everybody when he announced that Ravindra Jadeja would be the sole spinner in the side. People felt Ashwin will be brought in during later stages but the experienced offie never got the chance to play a single Test.
“There’s no doubt that India are a very good all-round team. They have conclusively proved it by winning consecutive series in Australia and now having had success in England, albeit Covid-affected, while they are virtually unbeatable at home. However, that isn’t to say they can’t improve.”
“That’s how good team remain at the top — by constantly searching for ways to be better. India’s best combination includes R Ashwin. He is a fine bowler under all conditions, as he proved in Australia, so India need to find a way to fit him into the XI,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“Tweaking the middle order to accommodate Ashwin should be the priority” – Ian Chappell
India tried out several combinations in the middle-order to try and boost its batting. Ajinkya Rahane was demoted with Jadeja being played above him. Shardul Thakur was given the rope and he did improve the lower-order batting. However, Ashwin brings a lot of value on his own as well and the team needs to bring in the World’s best current spinner into the mix, as per Ian Chappell.
“The art of good selection is to be constantly looking for ways to make even a top-class team better. The priority is always to win the next match, but this should be achieved with one eye on the future. Tweaking the Indian middle-order to accommodate the skills of Ashwin should be a priority for the selectors. It’s a scary thought for the other Test sides that Virat Kohli’s highly successful team can be improved,” Chappell added.
India led the 5-match series by 2-1 until the final Test in Manchester was canceled and cut-short a wonderful series. The result of the game is yet to be determined and the ICC will decide if the match is forfeiture or it needs to be voided.