Bharat Arun, the Indian team’s bowling coach, has discussed Ravi Ashwin’s chances of playing in the fourth Test against England, which begins on September 2 at the Oval in London.
Due to the surfaces being a little too accommodating for seamers, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner has been left out of the XI for the first three Tests.
The Oval, on the other hand, is England’s most spinner-friendly ground, and if there’s one spot where Ashwin can make a case for his inclusion in the series, it’s right here.
During a pre-match press conference before of the fourth Test, Arun mentioned this possibility. Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin may be seen bowling together if everything falls into place, he said.
“Ashwin, no doubt, is one of the best bowlers we have and it’s unfortunate that he has not played so far but if there is an opportunity and if we feel that he is going to fit into the scheme of things, they will definitely both be bowling in tandem,” Arun was quoted by the Hindustan Times.
Team aware of selection process
Bharat Arun further mentioned that the team is conscious of the fact that the Oval script usually favours spinners. Given Ashwin’s track record, he even stated that the Indian delegation is aware that England will deliver a wicket that aids spinners.
Interestingly, earlier this summer, while playing for Surrey, Ashwin claimed a seven-wicket haul at this venue. Finally, Arun stated that the team will make a decision on the morning of the Test.
“History at the Oval says that it aids spin but you also know how the Englishmen are wary of Ashwin’s abilities of what he could do if there is any assistance from the track. The best thing would be to decide after looking at the track tomorrow morning as anything could happen between now and tomorrow. So, we will look at it tomorrow morning and decide,” Arun added.
India has only used four seamers in this series so far. Shardul Thakur played as an all-rounder at no. 8 in the first Test, with Ishant Sharma taking over for the next two. After a dull performance with the ball in the third Test, Ishant appears to be on the fence. Unless, of course, India manages to surprise everyone once more!