Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif feels India’s spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be the biggest threat for West Indies in the upcoming two-match Test series.
With Virat Kohli returning to the team after being rested for the Asia Cup, India will enter the series as strong favourites. However, Mohammad Kaif feels that the visitors’ biggest threat will be the presence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Ashwin and Jadeja didn’t feature simultaneously in even a single Test in England. But the duo is likely to resume their partnership at home. The two have been almost unplayable at home in recent times. During the 2016-17 home season, they had picked up more than 150 wickets as India won 9 of the 13 Tests. And the two will be desperate to put up a good show against the West Indies to press for a regular spot in the playing eleven ahead of the upcoming tour of Australia.
“It is going to be very difficult for West Indies because India are a very strong team at home. Virat Kohli is also back to lead them. But in my opinion, the biggest match-winners in the series will be Ashwin and Jadeja. Kuldeep Yadav is also there but I think Ashwin and Jadeja will be the biggest threat for the visiting team,” Kaif told Hindustan Times.
Kaif further said that constant chopping and changing with the team-composition could hamper a player’s rhythm.
India once again took some bold calls ahead of the series. They dropped Shikhar Dhawan in addition to not recalling Murali Vijay. Instead, they decided to try out Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal who are untested at the international stage. India skipper Virat Kohli is famous for constantly changing the team-composition. In fact, under his captaincy, India played the same XI after 39 matches in the fourth Test against England.
“The current Indian set-up believes in the notion of ‘horse for courses’. Virat Kohli is a different player and he has scored runs in India and in overseas conditions. However, every player in not like Kohli. A player might feel that if he is doing well then he should play consistently. And then there are players who feel that if they take a break then they will be able to do a better job on their return,” Kaif said.
“But we have to identify such players i.e the players who need a break and the players who want to play on a regular basis. The team management must identify who are such ‘horses for courses’ players. Some players might not be comfortable with this notion altogether,” he added.
The first Test gets underway at Rajkot on October 4.