Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India Test captain Virat Kohli believes that Ravichandran Ashwin has justified his role as an all-rounder in this series despite not having much success with the ball. Notable that Ravindra Jadeja missed out on this tour due to an injury otherwise he used to be the preferred choice for overseas conditions.

In the last tour to England, Ashwin was benched in all four test matches in the Pataudi for which the team management faced heavy criticism.

Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, India Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

“Ashwin has done his job in Jadeja’s absence”- Virat Kohli

Ashwin picked 3 wickets in the series as he got a limited opportunity to contribute with the ball in seamer-friendly conditions. However, he made a significant contribution with the bat as he scored 46 in the first innings of the Johannesburg Test.

“Jadeja’s value everyone understands and everyone knows over the years what he has done for the team. But I think Ash is playing that role beautifully as well for us. If you look at his batting contribution in the last Test and the way he bowled in that second innings – 19 runs in 10 overs and taking a wicket, and he easily could have had two or three – I think that was an outstanding contribution to the team,” Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.

Ashwin has regained his batting form in the last year or so. In Sydney, he along with Hanuma Vihari famously saved the test match as India eventually went on to win the Border Gavaskar Trophy last year. Then he scored a hundred against England in front of his home crowd at Chennai. He also played a couple of good cameos in the home series against New Zealand.

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

“Ash knows his game has come forward by leaps and bounds, especially bowling overseas. He understands that himself. He is in a very comfortable space where he is willing to contribute for the team. And he is doing so, in the right intention, in the right way. When we have these two quality cricketers, one or the other really doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, Jadeja has had an injury. But Ash has obviously done the job in his absence and we have full faith that Ash can continue to play that role of a spinning all-rounder for us in any conditions.” Virat Kohli added.

So India is likely to stick with 4 pacers and a spinner combo in the Cape Town Test as well. Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav is set to replace Mohammad Siraj while Hanuma Vihari will make way for Virat Kohli who missed the second test due to an upper back spasm.


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