Former Indian cricketer Saba Karim said that it will be tough for the Indian team management to drop Ravichandran Ashwin in the South Africa Test series.
Ashwin was adjudged as the player of the series in the recently concluded two-match Test series against New Zealand. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner bowler picked 14 wickets at an average of 11.36.
Ashwin is dominant in the subcontinent with his turn and variety of bowling variations to trick the opposition batters. In the series, he also surpassed Harbhajan Singh’s tally of 417 Test wickets to become India’s third-highest wicket-taker in the format.
However, Ashwin didn’t get a single game to feature in the playing XI in any of the four-Test matches against England in their backyard during the August-September window.
It will be tough to drop Ravichandran Ashwin in South Africa: Saba Karim
Saba Karim feels that it was the previous team management that didn’t convince Ashwin to drop him from the team. The former Indian player feels that it would be tough to exclude the off-spinner in South Africa.
“I’m sure the previous team management would also have tried their best to explain to Ravichandran Ashwin the reason for not picking him for the team’s overseas matches. But it is very difficult to convince Ashwin. A different kind of communication is needed to convince him. I’m confident that this management will surely communicate well if such decisions need to be taken yet again.”
“Both performance and conditions matter a lot and you ought to play an in-form player. Ashwin is your premier spinner and it will be tough to drop him in South Africa.”
Ravichandran Ashwin can get you breakthroughs: Saba Karim
South Africa pitches are green and it helps to extract pace and bounce, in a nutshell, seam movement is great. Karim said that India will aim to field four pace bowlers and could opt to play with a lone spinner.
“When going overseas in seaming conditions, then India’s template is to play with 5 bowlers with 4 seamers and 1 spinner. They need a good all-rounder at number 7, as they are playing with just 6 genuine batters. This is why Jadeja is preferred in overseas conditions. But I believe you need bowlers who can get you breakthroughs, which is why I feel Ashwin should get a chance in South Africa as well,” Karim mentioned.
India will play against the Proteas in three Tests and as many ODI matches with the tour starting on December 26.