Rahul Dravid Reckons India Can Play Both Ravichandran Ashwin And Ravindra Jadeja In The Playing XI
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Rahul Dravid Reckons India Can Play Both Ravichandran Ashwin And Ravindra Jadeja In The Playing XI

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rahul Dravid, the former Indian skipper believes Virat Kohli’s touring team has the balance to field both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in the playing XI.

Former India captain Rahul Dravid believes that India’s squad is balanced and can feature both the spin all-rounders in the playing XI throughout the course of the upcoming England Tests.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid – K. MURALI KUMAR

Rahul Dravid: India Clear About The Kind Of Balance They Want In Their Squad

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been India’s star performers in Test cricket as the spin duo has dismantled daunting opposition line-ups, especially during India’s home seasons in recent years.

However, it becomes tougher for the Virat Kohli-led team management to play both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja when India tour overseas, with the pitch offering seamers more assistance than the spinners.

“It does seem balanced. It’s a 20-member squad. The only other one who could have merited selection would’ve been Kuldeep Yadav, but he’s fallen away over the last little bit. Also, with the kind of recent performances from Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Washington Sundar, they’re clear about the kind of balance they want in the squad.”

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

“With both Ashwin and Jadeja adding value with the bat and having like-for-like replacements in Axar and Washy, they’re clear about the direction they want to take. It lengthens their batting and all four finger spinners here allow them to do that. The make-up of the squad tells me they know their best XI even before they leave from here.”

Former India captain Rahul Dravid opines that Team India can include both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in its playing eleven on the tour of England, which comprises of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and a 5-Test series versus England. India’s eleven in overseas Tests mostly has featured either one of the spinners. However, Rahul Dravid reckons since both the players add immense batting depth and are good enough to be the first-choice spinner, Virat Kohli can play both together alongside three pacers.

Rahul Dravid: India Has Been Given The Best All-Round Balance With The Way Ravindra Jadeja And Ravichandran Ashwin Have Been Batting At The Moment

According to Rahul Dravid, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin can fulfill the role of India’s first-choice spinners and all-rounders in England as well.

“Yeah, why not (Ashwin and Jadeja in XI)? I mean, India has had success with that kind of line-up, and especially with the way Ashwin and Jadeja have been batting at the moment, it gives them the best all-round balance.

“Once Hardik Pandya couldn’t bowl, India didn’t have anyone for that seam-bowling allrounder’s slot. If it’s a good summer and if it gets dry and pitches turn in England as well, India have the option of playing two really good spinners.”

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

“If India wins a couple of good tosses, India will have two really good spinners. It can turn in the UK. They’ll be wary of starting with pitches too damp and too green because of India’s pace-bowling attack. So they’ll have to prepare good wickets, and good wickets in England, from my experience of playing there, the sun comes out and if you don’t water the wicket for five days, days four and five, it can turn.”

Ajinkya Rahane in the Australia Tests – Melbourne and Sydney – played both the spinners together. Regarding the 20 man squad for WTC Final and England Tests, there was also no place for all-rounder Hardik Pandya and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav either, with Axar Patel being named as the third spinner after his heroics in the home series against England.

Axar Patel, the left-arm spinner took his series tally against England at home to 27 wickets. In his debut Test series against England, he picked 27 scalps to finish behind Ravichandran Ashwin (32) in the leading wicket-takers list.