A lot changed for Team India from Lord’s to Leeds. All was well after the victory of Virat Kohli’s team at the Mecca of Cricket. The team combination, bowlers’ performance and captaincy were all right. But Headingley’s defeat changed the equation. And as is often the case after every loss, questions started arising about the team composition. An important question that is being raised the most is about the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin in the team.
Ashwin is the most successful bowler of the team. But so far he has been on the bench in all the three matches of the series. So will Kohli give this off-spinner a place at the Oval? Pitch and conditions will play an important role in this, but it will be a problem in front of Kohli.
Kohli has made a rule so far on the tour of England. To land with four fast bowlers. The Indian captain believes that pace, swing and seam are very helpful in England conditions. And because Jadeja has better batting options, Ashwin has not been able to make it to the last 11. But the Oval ground might force Kohli to change his thinking.
Talking about the statistics, it has been England’s best ground for spinners since 2016. The overall average of spinners here has been 29.52. At the same time, for fast bowlers, this average is 32.38 which is the worst. That is, in recent times, this ground has been favorable for spin.
Will Team India come with two spinners?
A photo of Ravindra Jadeja came from the hospital. He had a knee injury. So if Jadeja doesn’t play, Ashwin naturally comes into the team. But if Jadeja is fit, then? Even if we look at the helpful figures for the spinners, Ashwin can still be seen in the team. The Indian team can also go with three pacers and two spinners.
Recent form also with Ashwin
Ashwin was India’s best bowler in the World Test Championship against New Zealand. Apart from this, playing county cricket for Surrey last month, he took six wickets at the same Oval ground.
history of spin
If you look at the bowlers taking the highest number of wickets on this ground, then the spinners are seen ahead in this. Darrek Underwood has been the most dangerous bowler on this ground. The left-arm spinner has taken 45 wickets in 10 matches. At the same time, Jim Laker of England has sent 40 batsmen to the pavilion in 8 matches. He is the second highest wicket-taker bowler on this ground.
The Oval ground has also been very good for leg-spinner Shane Warne. Warne has taken 32 wickets in four Test matches at this ground. At the same time, Graeme Swann has sent 27 batsmen to the pavilion in 5 matches. Muttiah Muralitharan got a chance to play only one Test match here. But in that he did wonders. Murali took 16 wickets in that match. BS Chandrasekhar also played a match here and took eight wickets.
Difficult to get a bowler like Ashwin out
A bowler like Ashwin easily makes a place in the playing XI of any team. Cricket experts have also advocated to include him in the team. Ashwin has played seven Test matches in England, taking 18 wickets. That is, their performance cannot be called very good. And at the Oval he has taken three wickets in a match. But now the circumstances are different for Team India. Ishant is not in form and there are questions on Jadeja. On the other hand, Ashwin, who is currently counted among the best spinners in the world, is sitting on the bench. Sanjay Manjrekar can at times say in the commentary that you should feed your best option. And Ashwin is undoubtedly India’s best spinner. So will Kohli include Ashwin in the playing XI? Will have to wait till tomorrow. Either Kohli will tell Ashwin about joining the team or will tell the reason for not including him…