Home > Features >

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Should Ravichandran Ashwin get a look-in?

Ravichandran Ashwin has picked up only nine wickets from four overseas Tests © Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin has picked up only nine wickets from four overseas Tests © Getty Images

After India’s tremendous victory in the second Test at Lord’s, the visitors would be eager to have another go at an English side that seems grossly lacking in confidence and direction. While India have a very settled side, Shiamak Unwalla wonders whether Ravichandran Ashwin ought to get a game.

The disparity between Ravichandran Ashwin’s home and away record is staggering. In 19 Tests, he has captured a mind-numbing 104 wickets. What is equally mind-numbing, however, is that of those 104 wickets, only nine have come overseas.

It is hardly surprising, then, that Ashwin has not yet played a game this series. In the two practise matches, he bowled little and without reward. Ravindra Jadeja, the other spinner in the side, has performed reasonably well as the sole tweaker.

However, there is a sentiment among fans and pundits alike that Jadeja is not a good enough bowler to be the sole spinner in overseas conditions. In fact, Graeme Swann and Saqlain Mushtaq both said that Ashwin should play in overseas conditions, vouching for him as a bowler.

With Jadeja coming in to some form with the bat at Lord’s, the selection conundrum continues. That being said, Stuart Binny has done very little of note this series barring his potentially match-saving 78 at Trent Bridge. With MS Dhoni reluctant to give him an extended spell, he is currently packing dead weight in the side, eating a slot that could very easily go to Ashwin.

The other argument that can be made in favour of Ashwin is, of course, his prowess with the willow. He has scored two tons and three half-centuries, at an average of 39.40 and a strike rate of 63.14 to boot. These are staggering figures for a man who bats at No 8 or No 9.

In this series, India’s tail has been more prolific than the top order in some cases. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has far out-scored Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and even Cheteshwar Pujara. While this may make for an amusing stat, the fact that India have needed their lower order to bail them out of trouble on more than one occasion suggests that they could do with some more firepower down the order.

Whether or not Binny’s bowling might be more effective than Ashwin’s is impossible to tell given that neither have had long enough spells in England to tell. However, Ashwin’s batting is undeniably more dependable than the sometimes overly-aggressive Binny’s.

Perhaps Ashwin has been warming the bench for long enough. It is time he is unleashed on England’s batsmen — and certainly on its bowlers — and see how things go. India are ahead in the series, but there are still some questions that need to be asked. Maybe Ashwin can answer some of them.

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

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

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

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

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

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

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand 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 2014 West Indies

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

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

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

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

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

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Bigg Boss 8 day 34 highlights: Salman Khan makes fun of Sonali Raut’s kamchor behaviour, RJ Pritam Singh entertains!

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Anil Kapoor ropes in a new director for son Harshvardhan’s next?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here