Once again it has been a dominant display of English fast bowlers for the two opening sessions of play on Day 1 of the fourth Test match of the series. India seemed wobbly from the very outset and lost wickets in frequent intervals as the hosts ran riot.
Virat Kohli seemed to be the solitary man who blazed past the English bowlers with an excellent display as he crafted a hard-fought 50. Thakur belted out a blitzkrieg towards the end to take India to a respectable position. However, barring the scintillating knocks from Kohli and Thakur, it was all England in the Test so far.
On the eve of the fourth Test match, everyone was almost assured that currently, India’s leading off-spinner will make the cut for the Oval Test. However, when that didn’t happen even the pundits were shocked to know about this unraveling.
In this story, we will like to mention three reasons why Ashwin should have been picked by Kohli for the fourth Test.
#1 Some added batting to the hut
India’s batting has been woeful since the last Test match, to say the least with two collapses in a span of three days. Currently, the way the Indian innings are placed, it is needless to say that it heading towards another batting collapse in front of England’s fast-bowling quartet.
The inclusion of Ashwin means that it would have given India options to bat at least until the eighth wicket pair. However, Kohli believed that Shardul could have done the job. With the current situation of the Indian batting, an additional batting option who could add 25-30 runs would have only helped India’s cause.
#2 Ashwin could have been an experienced campaigner in the absence of Mohammad Shami
Shami had a niggle before the start of the Test and had to be left out of the equation. He is the most experienced bowler currently in India’s ranks and with him out, India desperately needed someone who could take the leadership role.
In the fast bowling pitches of England, it is hard for Ashwin to stand a chance, but he is a decent bowler and is known to adapt to his surroundings. Maybe he won’t really pull off a fifer in such tricky conditions but maybe that leadership would help the others to keep things tight for England.
#3 He is India’s finest spinner and needs a crack when the others haven’t really succeeded in England
Lord’s was a different story altogether and now with that in the past, India needed someone to put in some damage upon England. Jadeja hasn’t really done his thing with the ball and India needs someone to crack the English batting line-up.
The fast bowlers have blown hot and cold and it has been from different individuals that India has received a shot in their arm. However, ever since Australia, if one man has constantly troubled other teams, it has been none other than Ashwin. He was even brilliant against New Zealand in the WTC final and comes with an element of surprise up his sleeve. Once he gets his eyes in, even in the worst of conditions he can come to the deliverance of the team.