Home > Features >

India tour of England 2014: Ravichandran Ashwin — 5 reasons he should be left out for 1st Test

R Ashwin has a very poor record overseas © Getty Images
R Ashwin has a very poor record overseas © Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin is a unique talent, but has not been able to cement his spot in the Indian Test team away from home. He has not played the last three away Tests for India. With conditions in England not favouring spinners, it is hard to include Ashwin in the Indian team. Shrikant Shankar gives five reasons why Ashwin should not play the first Test against England in Nottingham.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s poor record away from home: Ravichandran Ashwin has played 19 Tests for India so far and has taken 104 wickets. Only nine of those have come away from India. Ashwin has been brilliant in Indian tracks, which suit spin bowlers. In conditions which do not favour spinners, however, Ashwin has struggled. Although he has played only four matches, Ashwin has missed the last three Tests which were away from home. While his career average is 28.50, away from home, it is 74.77. The strike-rate is 140. Clearly, he does not fancy bowling away from home.

Ravindra Jadeja providing better option: Ravindra Jadeja does not have numbers which are exceptional. But he has better numbers than Ashwin. Jadeja has played three of his eight Tests away from home. He has taken nine wickets at an average of 45.66. His strike-rate is 100.8 — still better than Ashwin’s. But Jadeja also is a good batsman and a brilliant fielder. Overall, Jadeja provides a better option. If both spinners are not going to take wickets, then it is better to select the one who has the better record between them.

India must go with three seamers and one spinner: England have only selected two players who can bowl spin in their squad; Moeen Ali and Joe Root. Clearly, the side that knows their own backyard bette don’t feel the need to include a specialist spinner in their entire squad. England will play four seam/swing bowlers in their side. India must take cue from this and go in with three seam/swing bowlers and one spinner, i.e. Jadeja.

Ashwin’s poor fielding: Jadeja is a brilliant fielder, but Ashwin is actually a liability on the field. While he is a fine slip catcher, that alone cannot make him enter the Indian starting XI. The slip cordon is rarely in effect for an entire innings, and Jadeja’s supreme ground fielding stands him in good stead.

Conditions in England do not favour spinners: It is a well-known fact that the conditions in England will always favour seam/swing bowlers. Ashwin’s forte is to get small variations in his finger spin bowling. He does not let the ball rip and only pushes through. This will hardly get him any bounce and definitely won’t get him any spin.

Counter: There has to be a counter to all these arguments as well. Ashwin’s batting record is phenomenal. With almost 800 runs at an average of 39.40 — a higher average than even MS Dhoni — and a strike-rate of 63.14, Ashwin is actually considered a better batsman than bowler in Tests. Ashwin has struck two centuries and three half-centuries in 19 Tests. These are numbers any lower-order batsman should be wishing for for. He can replace either Ajinkya Rahane or Rohit Sharma as a batting all-rounder rather than the other way around.

Catch all stories from India’s tour of England 2014 here

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs North Zone, semi-final at Mohali Day 4: Mahesh Rawat’s ton puts match beyond North’s reach

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Pakistan declare with lead of 437

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 1 at Mirpur: Bangladesh grab upper hand at Stumps

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

Ahmed Shehzad’s ton gives Pakistan 382-run lead over Australia at tea on Day 4

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Dear IAF, every smartphone not just Xiaomi could be a security threat

Nitish Kumar to hold ‘Sampark Yatra’ across Bihar from Nov 13

Dhanush’s Vellai Illa Pattadhaari completes 100 days!

Shahid Kapoor’s Haider screened at Rome Film Festival!

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Apple to merge Beats Music with iTunes next year as music sales fall 14 percent in 2014: WSJ

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

To escape Islamic State jihadis, Yazidis hide on Mount Sinjar

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here