Last Update on: June 11th, 2019 at 04:34 pm
Recently updated on June 11th, 2019 at 04:34 pm
With India set to tour South Africa, England and Australia in the next couple of years, skipper Virat Kohli has made it clear that he cannot assure the selection of two spinners in the playing eleven, thus putting the participation of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in doubt.
The duo has played an integral role in India’s dominating performances in Tests over the last couple of years or so. During the last home season, they had picked up more than 150 wickets as India won 9 of the 13 Tests to consolidate their position at the top of the rankings. However, one cannot deny the fact that the duo has not managed to replicate the same performance on pacer-friendly wickets in past. And with the team not shying away from taking bold calls in order to win games, Kohli said the team would can contemplate dropping the incumbent spinners during the overseas games.
“I can’t commit to that 100 per cent when we play abroad that we will be playing with two spinners to be honest. Because we need to have a look at the balance of the side as well. Obviously, those two guys with their batting abilities are both contenders to start a Test match depending upon the batsmen we are up against in the opposition because when you play on tracks which don’t turn and bounce, it’s very important to understand if the left-arm spinner is bowling to five right-handers or the offspinner is bowling to four left-handers. Just because the angle the ball coming in makes so much difference against a spinner. And it can turn away from you at some stage in the Test match. Those are very minor factors that you assess before picking the first spinner in overseas conditions but that’s quite far away,” Kohli said ahead of the first Test.
At the same time, Kohli admitted that spinners ability to contribute with the bat gives the team the much-needed balance.
“But yes, we count them as all-rounders because they have proved themselves in different situations and they have made some very important contributions to the team. So they are no tailenders anymore, they are proper all-rounders. Their ranking does justice to that. They have really improved their games, it gives us good balance when we play both of them because when you play both of them, you can, if you want to, play an extra bowler as well. So that certainly gives us some cushion to play around,” he explained.
Interestingly, Kohli’s comments have come a few days after Ashwin and Jadeja’s forgettable outing on the pacer-friendly Eden Gardens track in the first Test. In fact, they had struggled so much that they ended up becoming the owners of a dubious record as it was the first time in 262 Tests at home that no Indian spinner could take a wicket in a Test.
Ashwin had bowled just eight overs in the first innings without taking a wicket while he was not given a single over in the second innings. On the other hand, Ravindra Jadeja bowled just one over in the first and one in second.
With the Nagpur pitch, which will host the second Test, reportedly set to assist the pacers, Ashwin and Jadeja will be looking to come up with a stronger performance or else they risk falling down the pecking order in Tests too just like they are experiencing in limited-overs format where Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have replaced them in the playing eleven.
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