Pragyan Ojha, former Indian spinner is sure that India will include a ‘phenomenal’ bowling duo to bowl in tandem in the third Test against Australia starting in Sydney which favour spin bowling starting on January 7.
India will look forward to continuing their victory run after winning Melbourne Test when they take the field in Sydney on January 7. The Sydney Cricket Ground is reputed for favouring spin bowlers and with decent spin disposal in their ranks, Ajinkya Rahane-led India have a chance to exploit those conditions against an Australian batting line-up, which is a shadow of their past.
Pragyan Ojha: Sydney Has Track Record Of Helping Spinners
As witnessed in 2nd Test at Melbourne, the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja is currently proving effective. Their bowling partnership, along with the pace attack, kept the Australian batsmen at bay as the likes of Steve Smith failed miserably. Provided this combination is fielded in the third Test, India have a strong chance of taking a 2-1 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha has opined that the partnership between the two spinners has been superb and India must play them both in the next match.
“Sydney has a track record of helping the spinners. I’m very sure that we shouldn’t change the combination of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja,” Ojha told Sports Today.
“The way Jadeja batted [in Melbourne] and with Ashwin, we know he can bat. These guys have also been phenomenal with the bowling. If one guy bowls tight, the other one picks up the wicket and vice-versa. So, I think, this partnership is brilliant and if they continue it in overseas, that will be superb,” he added.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have picked up more than 500 Test wickets between themselves and both averages less than 26 with the ball as they have 2nd and 3rd best bowling average after Jasprit Bumrah in leading averages among Indian bowlers having 50 or more Test wickets.
Pragyan Ojha: Anil Kumble And Harbhajan Singh Bowled Successfully In Tandem Exploiting Overseas Conditions In Past
The former cricketer also cited the example of former Indian spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh who had bowled in tandem and led India to victory on many occasions both overseas and at home. Pragyan Ojha believes that Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja combined can take down any opposition, irrespective of conditions. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh had more than 1000 Test wickets combined.
“We have seen Anil Bhai [Anil Kumble] and Bhajju Paa [Harbhajan Singh] doing that for us in the past. Now, these two guys in overseas… I think, there is nothing more to ask for,” Ojha said further.
Meanwhile, left-arm pacer T Natarajan has been included in the Indian Test squad for the last two matches. He has replaced Umesh Yadav who has been ruled out after suffering a calf injury during the second innings of the Boxing Day Test match. Shardul Thakur was included earlier for Mohammed Shami and it’s to be seen who gets a chance to debut in Sydney Test.