Is It High Time for Ashwin's Inclusion in the Indian Test XI?
India were dealt a telling blow in Headingley as England beat them by a whopping margin of an innings and 76 runs. After a morale-boosting win at Lord's, India are behind the eight ball again in their plight for a historic series win in England.
While the likes of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have hogged the spotlight courtesy of their poor returns with the bat, a selection headache hasn't quite attracted the public eye as yet - The Inclusion of Ravi Ashwin in the Playing 11!
Ravi Ashwin is one of the best spinners in the world and has proven his mettle in England, both with team India and in the County Championship. With India's pace-heavy attack not firing in the previous Test, is it high time for Ashwin's return? Here's some much-needed insight on Ashwin's most recent performances in the Test arena to get you going!
Ashwin Averaging A Match Score of 84.77 in Red Ball Cricket Since August 2020!
84.77! This match score average would generally be a fair indicator of how good a player has been. However, Ashwin is no ordinary player, is he? The bowling all-rounder has been sensational in this format with 296 runs and 55 wickets in his last nine games in red-ball cricket.
It is his consistency that catches the eye with only match score of less than 50 and even that reads 49.33! Although he played a major chunk of those matches away from home, Ashwin has used his skill and guile to stand apart from the rest.
While his batting returns haven't been too great in recent years, partly why Jadeja has been preferred in this series, Ashwin has hit a century this year at his home ground against England. His resilience adds value in the lower order, which might need some solidity given how India's middle-order has performed in this series.
Another interesting take on this conundrum is that Ashwin has some prior experience of playing at the Kia Oval, most recently with Surrey last month. Having played as an overseas player for Surrey alongside Rory Burns and Hashim Amla, Ashwin might have a fair idea of how the pitch would behave.
In addition, Ashwin had a great game with the ball, having picked seven wickets in the game. This performance might play have a say in his inclusion, which according to a few, is long overdue. Will team India rest one of its pacers for the experience of Ashwin, who adds value in both departments? Only time will tell!