The veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh isn’t impressed with Ravichandran Ashwin whatsoever. He criticised Ashwin for his fitness, which is pretty much important while playing on overseas tours. Meanwhile, he believes that Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja will become India’s top priority in the upcoming series for India.
Ashwin was India’s premier spinner heading into series amid comparisons between him and Aussie counterpart Nathan Lyon. He started off well with a six-wicket haul in the opener at Adelaide Oval where India hade won by 31 runs. But an abdominal strain kept him in the sidelines for the remaining three matches of the series.
It wasn’t the first time for Ashwin to miss out Test matches with injury. It was the same story in England, where he missed the final Test at the Oval because of a hip injury. He had started the England tour well too, picking up seven wickets at Edgbaston before going dry.
Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav kept Pressure – Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh dug into the stats of Ravichandran Ashwin, who couldn’t deliver the goods on a consistent basis. Ashwin had a pretty decent start against England but failed to replicate it throughout the series. He ended up taking fewer wickets than Moeen Ali as well.
Meanwhile, in Australia, he once again started the tour on a positive note. But, unfortunately, he sustained injury again to attract the questions from the analysts. Harbhajan feels the quality spinner need to be in handy for India, especially, against strong oppositions. But, he doesn’t want them to stay in the side with injuries.
“The best I have seen R Ashwin bowl was in the first Test in England. After that, he lost his edge. He looked dull in the next Test and then got injured in the series. When he played at Southampton, he got very few wickets while Moeen Ali from the opposition got 9 wickets. I think this spin pair of Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav would have won India the Sydney test match if it had not rained. Jadeja got wickets in Melbourne, got runs in Sydney. Kuldeep got a five-wicket haul at Sydney. I think we will see more of this spin pair in the time to come,” he said.
“If your prime spinner only gets wickets at home and is injury-prone away, it will compound the team’s problems and they will have to look at options. So these two have added more pressure on their lead spinner. The lead spinner is needed in tough conditions and if you can’t play in tough conditions, it’s not fair on the team. Questions will be asked because if you knew after the first test, he would take so much more time to be fit again, you could have asked for a replacement,” Harbhajan said.
Well, as Harbhajan Singh said, Ashwin needs to be fit enough for India in order to settle his place in the side. If not, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav will be owning the places to their name.