Indian skipper Virat Kohli has hinted that he may play a fast bowler instead of ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the second Test match against England.
On Wednesday, India received a heavy blow after bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur was unavailable for the selection owing to a hamstring injury. However, Kohli believes that the all-rounder will be fit to play for the third Test.
Virat Kohli hinted at roping a fourth pacer ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin to replace Shardul Thakur:
Despite drawing lots of flak from hosts of experts after dropping Ashwin in the first game, Kohli doesn’t seem to replace Thakur with the spinner and is likely to bring in a fourth seamer to join the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.
Skipper Kohli said that the side would not be concerned a lot about Thakur’s unavailability as there are enough options to choose from, which somehow hinted that the skipper wants to create a four-pronged pace attack at Lord’s.
Virat Kohli says India is not short of a batsman after Shardul Thakur’s injury
Thakur played a great knock in Brisbane which was the impetus for India to win the match and eventually the series. The Mumbai player couldn’t open his account in Nottingham though but has the potential to deliver important runs.
Kohli says the team is not short of a batsman and they will aim to target 20 wickets of England and also shows faith in the other batters of the team.
“We do not feel that we are batsmen short if Shardul does not play. For us, it is about finding that right balance, if Shardul is not available, we will try to take 20 wickets first and we feel comfortable with how the first Test went,” Kohli said,
“Shardul brings in more batting ability but having said that, from the batsmen’s point of view, we are well placed,” he added.
Ravindra Jadeja, who was played as the frontline spinner ahead of Ashwin, smacked a brilliant half-century in Nottingham, where his 56 runs helped India to overcome England’s dominance posed by Anderson and Ollie Robinson.
Kohli believes the all-rounder will be high on confidence when he walks in to bat in the second Test match and also accepted that India’s middle-order failed to deliver runs.
“The good thing is that Jadeja has got runs in the first game already, so he will go into the second game confident. That already makes our batting a bit deeper, the lower-order contributed with the bat as well,” Kohli said.