As India gear up to take on West Indies in the first Test of the two-match series, Ravichandran Ashwin is in danger of warming the bench. The India spin spearhead is likely to make room for his younger teammate Kuldeep Yadav. The chinaman bowler is expected to partner Ravindra Jadeja in the spin attack for the first Test in Antigua.
According to a report in Mid-Day, India are likely to play two pacers and two spinners. Along with Jadeja and Kuldeep, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma will form the bowling attack. The tourists will play six batsmen in addition to Rishabh Pant. Pant is also set to don the wicketkeeping gloves. Thus Wriddhiman Saha is unlikely to make a comeback to Tests in the upcoming game.
Ashwin not getting a chance for the upcoming game is not a big surprise. The last time India played a Test, Kuldeep was all over the news for all the right reasons. In the Sydney Test, Kuldeep had picked up a historic five-wicket haul. On the other hand, Ashwin was left to rue another injury setback. That performance from Kuldeep had prompted coach Ravi Shastri to state that the left-arm spinner will be India’s “No. 1 spinner in Tests away from home” going forward.
Ashwin had constantly struggled with his injuries last year during oveseas series. Overall, Ashwin missed as many as five Tests in South Africa, England and Australia last year. He did not get a chance in the playing eleven for the Johannesburg Test before missing the last Test in England with a groin injury.
His injury woes then came back to haunt him in Australia too. After an impressive show in the first Test in Adelaide, the off-spinner could not play in the remainder of the series due to a left-sided abdominal strain.