India's tradition of playing with two spinners, irrespective of the conditions, has been put to an end. Virat Kohli has preferred more pace bowlers in his playing XI. In the ongoing series against England, India have fielded with only one spinner in Ravindra Jadeja. The Indian skipper also hinted at sticking to the same combination (4 pacers and 1 spinner) after the first Test. Even though Ravichandran Ashwin is a more skillful spinner than Jadeja, the latter was preferred for his all-round skills.
Experts are also sharing their views on Ashwin's place in India's playing XI. Aakash Chopra also talked about the same on his YouTube channel. Chopra feels that Ashwin is unlikely to find a place in the playing XI for the third Test. “Not at Headingley. I don't see R Ashwin playing in the next encounter. But then there is still some time to go, there might be injuries and all of that but I don't think India will go with the combination of two spinners and three fast bowlers,” said Chopra.
“Lords was a good opportunity where you could have played two spinners. It was also dry, the Hundred was also being played. But up North- Headingley, Leeds- where do you need spinners that much,” he added.
A few days back, Harsha Bhogle had also put focus on the fact that Ashwin is likely to get a maximum of one Test in the series. “With Test matches at Leeds and Manchester, Aswin will probably get one Test at best, then two more at home and with this template, nothing for another year, maybe! The best spin bowler in the world!” Bhogle had opined.
The 4-1 template seems to be working fine for India
With the results obtained in the first two Tests, the 4-1 template seems to be working good for India. The pacers have stolen the show by accounting for all the 40 wickets in the series so far. In the first Test, Shami, Bumrah, Shardul, and Siraj did the job while Ishant Sharma made a statement with his performance in the Lord's Test.
Ashwin has not been dropped due to performance, but he doesn't fit in this team for now. His mastery with spin bowling is undoubtedly the best but he will have to just sit and applaud his teammates.