After losing another toss, Virat Kohli announced two changes to the side which lost in Leeds. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami are suffering from niggles, and have been replaced by Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav.
However, it’s the news of Ashwin’s non-inclusion once again that is taking heat as the number 2 ranked ICC bowler sits out for the fourth consecutive game.
VVS Laxman said that the grey skies and the greenish tinge on the pitch are the key reason that the Tamil Nadu spinner has once again been overlooked for a four-man pace attack.
“I think it has to do with the wicket used for this Test match. Also, with overcast conditions and probably fresh grass on the wicket, that is the reason why probably R Ashwin is not playing in this Test match. One Ashwin does not play, it’s an automatic choice as far a Ravindra Jadeja is concerned. The theory of Virat Kohli to play 4 four pacers. So I think it has definitely to do with the nature of the wicket,” VVS Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.
For me, Ashwin would have been playing in place of Shardul Thakur: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman stated that he would have had Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin play in the fourth Test. Vihari hasn’t played at all on this tour while Ashwin has been on the bench after featuring in the WTC final.
The 46-year-old commentator reckoned Ashwin should have played for Thakur and he would back the three pacers and Ashwin to take 20 English wickets.
“I would have definitely made two changes. Hanuma Vihari would have been batting at number 6 for me and R Ashwin would be playing in place of Shardul Thakur. I will have three quick bowlers in Umesh Yadav, Bumrah, and Siraj, and I’ll have R Ashwin for four attacking bowlers, and Vihari will be someone to bowl part-time off-spin,” the former cricketer concluded.