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)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Deodhar Trophy, 2014-15

Nov 29, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at TBC


Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dubai

United Arab Emirates won by 5 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 21 runs

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts


Hughes' death: Tributes and wishes pour in


Hughes' death: Clarke's statement on Australia' behalf

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 3: Kane Williamson brings up 150 off 205 balls

Live Cricket Score Deodhar Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone Quarter Final: Central Zone pegged back

Live Cricket Score, Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd ODI at Colombo: Sri Lanka race at the start

Thank you, Brendon McCullum

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Australia England India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes Sri Lanka

Kumar Sangakkara equals Adam Gilchrist’s record for highest ODI dismissals

Phil Hughes’s death: Ricky Ponting feels India-Australia first Test should be called off

Sri Lanka vs England 2nd ODI Colombo 2014: England clamber to 185 before being bowled out

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah Day 3: New Zealand reach 388/2 at lunch

Phillip Hughes’ death: Cricketers continue to mourn, no celebrations for wickets or centuries

Murali Vijay in India vs Australia Test series: Will he be an integral part?

Phillip Hughes’ unfortunate demise: Ahmed Shehzad was lucky, Phil Hughes was not

Shakib Al Hasan becomes highest wicket-taker against Zimbabwe in ODIs

Phil Hughes passes away: Cricket gradually gets off and running a day later

Khurram Khan of UAE becomes 7th oldest international captain

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Pukaar’s Rannvijay Singh will face new challenges with ‘Zen Life’

Yami Gautam Birthday: The Vicky Donor girl turns 26 (In Pics)

6 medical miracles that will blow your mind

OPEC daily basket price closes over three US dollars lower

Badlapur new poster: Varun Dhawan stuns us with his deadly rugged avatar – view pic!

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

6 must-have aromatherapy oils for your medicine cabinet

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here