Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh supports the decision to let Ravichandran Ashwin out of the XI in the ongoing first Test against England in Nottingham. India surprisingly played Ravichandran Ashwin out of the XI in the first Test, opting for four fast bowlers and giving extra weight to the bat of Ravindra Jadeja. Harbhajan Singh feels that Ashwin could make the tail of India long.
While Ravichandran Ashwin remains a very threatening prospect, the 34-year-old overseas was equally good. Ashwin played a crucial role in India’s victory in the Test series in Australia, followed by the man of the series, when England visited the subcontinent earlier this year. He caught more than 20 wickets in four Tests and scored a century when the hosts won the series 3-1.
Harbhajan Singh stressed that playing Ravichandran Ashwin would make the tail long, as it is uncertain how much it can use. The 41-year-old claims that Ravindra Jadeja bowled only three overs to Tea; therefore he could bowl if India urgently needed a turn. Singh also said that Jadeja was a better batsman abroad and was more than a handy presence lower in the order.
“I think if you had played Ashwin, the tail would have been very long. You did not know how much spin was actually going to be used. Jaddu bowled three out of 50 overs to tea. So big that you will use spin, Jaddu can bowl the overs. And why do we conclude that Jaddu cannot be used as a lone spinner? “And if you look at overseas performances, Jaddu was a better batsman and he has a solid presence in the lower order.” Singh told PTI.
There is not much to choose between Ash and Jaddu: Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh further claims that both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have promising records as spinners abroad. Although he understands that Ashwin recently picked six wickets for Surrey in a first-class match, the considerations remain different in Tests. At the end of the day, Harbhajan claimed that India did not want Ashwin to bat with half from the side for a low score.
‘If you look at overseas records, there is not much to choose between Ash and Jaddu. Yes, you would feel difficult if you had just picked six wickets for Surrey. But the considerations of Test cricket are different. With six wickets in the last first-class match, he was naturally confident. But you also do not want a situation where you are 75 for 5 and Ashwin is batting, ” he added.