Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is of the opinion that Indian opener Rohit Sharma has the capability of handling India’s vice-captaincy in Test cricket.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t play a single Test match in the recent Test series between England and India, he was seen warming the bench in all four completed games and Ravindra Jadeja was prefered ahead of him.
Ashwin, who has picked 18 Test wickets in the United Kingdom, had picked 12 wickets in Australia during his last trip and was also dominant at home against England where he accounted for a total of 32 wickets in the four-match Test series.
India’s best combination includes R Ashwin: Ian Chappell
Chappell feels Ashwin is that bowler who can adapt to any kind of conditions and India must find a way to fit him. The former Australian cricketer gave a solution to accommodate Ashwin in the playing XI, it was to cut short the middle-order.
Somehow it was hinted to drop India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane as Chappell noted that Rohit Sharma, who is also the vice-captain of India in white-ball cricket, could be given the role.
“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 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.”
“The only downside (of adding Ashwin and Pandya) would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role,” he added.
There’s no doubt that India are a very good all-round team: Ian Chappell
India have been dominating on home soil, where they are unbeatable in a Test series since 2012 and they have found ways of winning in Australia (where they won back to back series). They were almost close to clinching the series in England if the recent developments related to COVID-10 wouldn’t have cancelled the Manchester Test.
Chappell feels that there is still a chance for India to improve their team and find ways to get better.
“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,” Chappell said.
“However, that isn’t to say they can’t improve. That’s how good teams remain at or near the top – by constantly searching for ways to be better,” he added.
India were leading the five-match Test series 2-1 before the series, whose fate is yet to be decided, was called off.