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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4:

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 3 at Abu Dhabi

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 3

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Brad Haddin feels he will be able to bat despite injury

India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI at Cuttack, Preview: Teams aim for winning start

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here