The first of the four Test matches is scheduled to start on February 9 in Nagpur.
Ravichandran Ashwin, a master spinner, will be a significant player for India in the forthcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, according to former India head coach Ravi Shastri. Shastri praised the 36-year-old cricketer and said that he is a “complete package” who can influence the outcome of the series.
“If Ashwin is on fire, that might determine how the series turns out. In normal circumstances, he is world-class, but in Indian circumstances, he is deadly. He will worry most batters if the ball begins to spin and has enough surface bite. So you don’t want Ashwin to try too many different things or overthink things. Keep it there and let the pitch take care of the rest; it already serves its purpose in India, he continued.
Shastri chooses Kuldeep Yadav as the third spinner instead of Axar Patel.
One of the most hotly contested issues in recent times is the third spinner for India. Shastri, however, feels that Kuldeep Yadav ought to be approved because of how similar bowlers Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are.
“As far as the third spinner goes, I want to see Kuldeep bat right immediately. Axar and Jadeja are fairly comparable bowlers. Kuldeep is unique. You need someone who won’t give up if you lose the toss on Day 1. Kuldeep will spin it on Day 1 if anyone does. Kuldeep can be utilised if the track doesn’t provide much, according to Shastri.
Notably, Ashwin, who can also bat, is now the second-ranked Men’s Test all-rounder in the ICC rankings. In the third Test match between India and Australia in Sydney (2021), Ashwin was crucial. He and Hanuma Vihari both played outstanding innings to prevent India from losing. As a result, Shastri thinks that in addition to Ashwin’s bowling, other factors could affect the outcome of the match.
The 1983 world champion has meantime urged Ashwin not to obsess over his bowling. Shastri said that he wants the cricketer to keep things simple. “Ashwin, you don’t want him to over-plan. He is capable of staying true to his intentions because he is a key component in this situation. The series could be decided by his form. Ashwin comes as a package, he will get you important runs as well,” Shastri stated during an interaction with Star Sports.
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