Former India captain Rahul Dravid believes Virat Kohli’s touring team has the balance to field both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in the playing XI.
R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja with captain Virat Kohli in a file photo. (Reuters Pictures)
- Rahul Dravid believes balanced India could play Ashwin-Jadeja together
- India will have two really good spinners in the form of Jadeja, Ashwin: Dravid
- Ashwin and Jadeja’s batting gives India the best all-round balance: Dravid
Former India captain Rahul Dravid believes that India’s squad is balanced and can feature both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI throughout the course of the upcoming England Tests.
Ashwin and Jadeja have been India’s star performers in Test cricket as the spin duo has hunted in packs and dismantled daunting opposition line-ups, especially during India’s home seasons in recent years. However, it becomes tougher for the Virat Kohli-led team management to play both Ashwin and Jadeja when India tour overseas, especially the SENA countries.
“It does seem balanced. It’s a 20-member squad. The only other one who could have merited selection would’ve been Kuldeep Yadav, but he’s fallen away over the last little bit. Also, with the kind of recent performances from Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar, they’re clear about the kind of balance they want in the squad.”
“With both Ashwin and Jadeja adding value with the bat and having like-for-like replacements in Axar and Washy, they’re clear about the direction they want to take. It lengthens their batting and all four finger spinners here allow them to do that. The make-up of the squad tells me they know their best XI even before they leave from here.”
According to Dravid, Jadeja and Ashwin can fulfill the role of India’s first-choice spinners and all-rounders in England as well.
“Yeah, why not (Ashwin and Jadeja in XI)? I mean, India has had success with that kind of line-up, and especially with the way Ashwin and Jadeja have been batting at the moment, it gives them the best all-round balance. Once Hardik Pandya couldn’t bowl, India didn’t have anyone for that seam-bowling allrounder’s slot. If it’s a good summer and if it gets dry and pitches turn in England as well, India have the option of playing two really good spinners.
“If India wins a couple of good tosses, India will have two really good spinners. It can turn in the UK. They’ll be wary of starting with pitches too damp and too green because of India’s pace-bowling attack. So they’ll have to prepare good wickets, and good wickets in England, from my experience of playing there, the sun comes out and if you don’t water the wicket for five days, days four and five, it can turn.”
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