India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is likely to play ahead of senior bowler Ishant Sharma in the fourth Test against England at Kennington Oval. Ashwin was benched in all three Test matches with Ravindra Jadeja started ahead of the Tamil Nadu player as the frontline spinner in the team.
Can Ravichandran Ashwin play his first Test in the series in place of Ishant Sharma?
Ishant Sharma, who played a vital role in the second Test at Lord’s, lacked in his pace and went wicketless in the third Test at Headingley. India were bowled out for a paltry score of 78 in the first innings and Sharma started their bowling with two consecutive no-balls while conceding 9 runs in his first over.
After the match when Virat Kohli was asked about Ishant’s performance, the Indian captain didn’t comment anything on it but did hint that there will be some changes in the next game while keeping the workload of fast bowlers in mind.
Ravichandran Ashwin played for Surrey and knows the pitch at Kennington Oval: Aakash Chopra
Ashwin has played for county club Surrey and has also bowled at Kennington Oval for a brief period of time, in fact, last month the off-spinner registered 6/27 against Somerset at the same venue.
Commentator Aakash Chopra feels that Ashwin will be effective on the flat pitch with his experience in the county cricket championship.
“About Ashwin, you are going to the Oval. The ball turns there and the pitch is a little flat. He played for Surrey as well and knows the pitch also, that is a definite consideration,” Chopra said on his YoutTube channel.
“But until you see the pitch, I don’t think you can have an answer, whether it is a four fast-bowler pitch or two spinners if they are going for five bowlers. If you are going to play four bowlers and want to play just the one spinner, then the question will be to go towards Jaddu or Ashwin,” he added.
Ashwin amassed has 413 Test wickets since he made his debut in 2011 against West Indies and he is also the fastest bowler to reach 300 Test scalps in 54 matches.
England thrashed India with a massive victory by an innings and 76 runs to level the five-match Test series 1-1.