Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

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Ashish Nehra believes Ravindra Jadeja holds the edge when it comes to all-around skills irrespective of the format despite Ravichandran Ashwin’s improved showing with the bat in recent times.

Ravichandran Ashwin played a crucial knock of 46 on Day 1 of the Johannesburg Test against South Africa as India stumbled to 202 all-out. He scored a Test hundred against England last year and was effective with the bat against New Zealand as well towards the end of 2021.

Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ashish Nehra (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ashish Nehra: Ravindra Jadeja Way Ahead Of Ravichandran Ashwin As A Batsman Irrespective Of The Format

Asked if Ravichandran Ashwin has staked his claim for a place in Test XI as an all-rounder, Ashish Nehra opined that now injured Ravindra Jadeja will get first preference for the role when available.

The former left-arm pacer said: “No doubt Ashwin has scored runs, he has also scored Test hundreds. But if you see Ravindra Jadeja’s graph as a batter over the last two to three years, he is way ahead of Ashwin irrespective of the format. Even Ashwin will agree to the same. This is why Jadeja played ahead of Ashwin when both were available.”

Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Backing Ravindra Jadeja’s selection over Ravichandran Ashwin during the previous Test series in England, Ashish Nehra explained that India needed a batter who could bowl and not the other way round.

The 42-year-old elaborated: “In England, Jadeja played as the fifth bowler. If he was chosen as the fourth bowler, then questions could have been raised. Initially, even I thought if one spinner had to play, it had to be Ashwin. But India had Shardul Thakur as the fourth bowler.

“As a fifth bowler, India needed a batter who could bowl. That’s where Jadeja has the edge. But yes, as a sole spinner from whom wickets are expected, Ashwin is still the better choice.”

Ravichandran Ashwin did not play in a single Test during the series in England as India went with the left-arm spin of Jadeja in all four matches.

Ashish Nehra: Ravichandran Ashwin Played Positively As His Additional Runs May Matter In The Game

Ashish Nehra was effusive in his praise of Ravichandran Ashwin for his 50-ball 46 on Day 1 of the Wanderers Test. According to Ashish Nehra, the 35-year-old’s knock could be crucial in the context of the match, given the nature of the surface.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Hailing Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra said: “It was really nice to see the way Ashwin batted. It wouldn’t have been easy as he has been dropped in recent times. His aggressive innings could come in very handy. This is where experience comes into play.

“He read the situation really well. This is the kind of surface where you can get out on any delivery. Unlike specialist batters, there is not as much pressure on Ashwin. He played positively, knowing very well how much additional runs matter in such conditions.”

Ashwin was the second-highest run-getter for India in the first innings of the Johannesburg Test. Stand-in skipper KL Rahul top-scored with 50 but the middle and lower order faltered again. On the first day in Johannesburg Test, India was bowled out for 202 as skipper KL Rahul top-scored with a score of 50 while Ravichandran Ashwin also made an important contribution of 46.

South African pacers Marco Jansen (4/31), Kagiso Rabada (3/64), and Duanne Olivier (3/64) were outstanding as they picked up wickets at regular intervals to not allow the tourists to get into any rhythm.

South Africa may have won extra credits by dismissing India for 202 but they are still 167 runs in the arrears with a barely-experienced batting line-up pitted against a vastly experienced bowling attack. South Africa was 35 for one at stumps in response to India’s 202 all-out.