England are ‘wary of Ashwin’s abilities’ – India bowling coach
Ravichandran Ashwin (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
India bowling coach Bharat Arun said it was possible Ravichandran Ashwin could feature in the fourth Test at the Oval starting Thursday as the “Englishmen are wary of his abilities”.
Although off-spinner Ashwin has 413 Test wickets and five hundreds to his credit, he has yet to feature so far in a five-match series now locked at 1-1, with India preferring an attack comprised of four quicks and slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja.
Ashwin was India’s leading bowler during their 3-1 series win at home to England earlier this year, with 32 wickets at 14.71, albeit on sharply turning pitches.
And he played one game for Surrey at the Oval in July, taking 6-27 in 15 overs during the second innings of a County Championship match against Somerset.
“History at the Oval says it will take spin but you also know how the Englishmen are wary of Ashwin’s abilities and what he could do if there is any little assistance from the track,” said Arun, adding that both Ashwin and Jadeja could play in the same XI.
“I think the most realistic option would be to look at the track (pitch) tomorrow (Thursday) morning because anything can happen between now and tomorrow.”
– Prasidh Krishna’s ‘precautionary’ call-up –
India, meanwhile have added Prasidh Krishna, an uncapped fast bowler, to their squad for the final two Tests.
Already a travelling reserve, Krishna coud provide cover for Ishant Sharma, who went wicketless during England’s series-levelling win by an innings and 76 runs in the third Test at Headingley last week.
The 25-year-old Krishna is uncapped at Test level but made his one-day international debut against England at Pune in March.
“He’s been included in the team (squad) mainly considering all the workload management issues,” Arun said.
“Nothing more to it than that. Ishant’s form in the last game, that was a bit of concern but I think we have sorted things out. Prasidh Krishna is just a precautionary inclusion.”
Jasprit Bumrah, India’s leading bowler this series with 14 wickets, has also delivered the most number of overs for the tourists – 108. Fellow pacemen Mohammed Siraj (100.5 overs) and Mohammed Shami (96.5 overs) are not far behind, while Ishant has bowled 56 overs in the two Tests he has played.
India captain Virat Kohli was asked following the Headingley defeat whether rotation of his quick bowlers was a possibility given a gruelling schedule of five Tests in six weeks.
“That’s bound to happen,” Kohli replied. “It’s a very logical and sensible thing to do — you obviously don’t want to push individuals to a place where they break.
“You obviously can’t expect with a short turnaround like this for guys to play four Test matches in a row so we’ll have to assess who are the guys that will be given that many number of days to recover and then be okay for the fifth one (in Manchester).”