Former India all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi opined that the success in the Brisbane Test has forced captain Virat Kohli and the selectors to modify their philosophy of picking bowlers.
Reetinder Sodhi, who played 18 ODIs, points out that the contribution of Washington Sundar with the bat proved to be crucial in the Gabba victory. Shardul Thakur made a significant contribution in India’s first innings with a half-century.
Ajinkya Rahane, who was the interim captain then, had picked Sundar over Kuldeep Yadav as the off-spinner provided batting depth over the chinaman, despite Kuldeep’s superior bowling record – he had taken a five-wicket haul in his last Test in Sydney on the 2018/19 tour.
When Kohli returned to lead the side at home against England, he too went with five bowlers, but again Sundar was picked over Kuldeep. Later, Axar Patel also was chosen over the leg-spinner as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja. Now, Kuldeep has been dropped from the Test squad altogether to tour England for the World Test Championship final and the 5-Test series against England.
“I feel Virat Kohli’s thinking changed after the Australia tour. The theory that if your bowler can bat has proved effective. If we talk about Washington Sundar and Ashwin’s batting in Australia, I think they were pivotal there.
“They changed the match there and we created history. So, somewhere or the other we are seeing in this selection that the selectors have given weightage to the bowlers who can bat and are all-rounders,” Reetinder Sodhi told India News.
We all know that how potent our spinners can be on the England wickets: Reetinder Sodhi
Reetinder Sodhi, who played 3 IPL games for Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) in the 2010 IPL, reckons the Indian spinners would be effective on the England pitches which will get drier as the series will progress.
Along with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, who had a magnificent debut Test series, and Sundar will travel to England.
“The way Ashwin has come back if we talk about his bowling. The way Axar Patel has given splendid performances against England, they have been recognised for their good performances. They all can prove to be aces in the pack because we all know that how potent our spinners can be on the England wickets,” the 40-year-old former all-rounder stated.