Rahul Dravid, the former India captain, sees no reason why India can’t field spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in the playing XI during the forthcoming Test summer in the UK.
Besides being India’s first-choice Test spinners, with an incredible body of work in the past decade, Ashwin and Jadeja, especially, offer India depth in the batting department.
Rahul Dravid, aware of the same, said the spin duo can combine beautifully with a three-pronged pace attack and give India the kind of balance they’ve always wished for in Test match cricket abroad.
“Yeah, why not?” Rahul Dravid said in a webinar organised by Live Aid India, as reported by ESPNcricinfo, when asked whether Ashwin, Jadeja and three pacers can be an option.
“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 [following back trouble], 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,” he added.
Rahul Dravid thinks both Ashwin and Jadeja can make India’s Test XI in England
Jadeja has returned to the Indian Test squad after a prolonged absence due to injury. India’s premier all-rounder had been recovering from a thumb injury, which he sustained while playing the New Year’s Test against Australia in Sydney.
After missing the Brisbane Test Down Under and also the home series versus England in February-March, Jadeja looked in prime fitness during the IPL 2021 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Ashwin, on the other hand, showed through series against Australia and England why he is regarded as the world’s best contemporary Test spinner, taking 44 wickets from 8 Tests, including 12 in India’s historic series win repeat Down Under.
Ashwin took a break from IPL 2021 as his family fought the battle against COVID-19, but the exceptional off-spinner is expected to bounce back strongly on the difficult tour of England.
Having spoken on India’s balance and how Virat Kohli’s men possess spinners of the highest quality, Rahul Dravid said if the visitors win some crucial tosses and the English tracks deteriorate in the back end of the summer, they’ll be in with a great chance.
Dravid also mentioned that the likes of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj will ensure that the hosts are also wary of leaving too much grass on the surfaces.
“If India wins a couple of good tosses, India will have two really good spinners. It can turn in UK. They’ll (England) 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,” Rahul Dravid concluded.
India’s five-Test series against England begins on August 4, before which Kohli and company face New Zealand in the World Test Championship final from June 18.