Ahead of the fifth and the final Test against England at the Kia Oval, Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has cleared that there are not fitness concerns regarding off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
“He (Ashwin) played the last test match and He bowled really well, he fielded really well. I don’t think there is any issue with his fitness,” Rahane told reporters during the pre-match press-conference.
With Ashwin not bowling during the practice session at the Kia Oval on Wednesday, speculations were made that the off-spinner is not likely to play the fifth Test and in place of him, Ravindra Jadeja may get his first game of the series.
Ashwin was off colour in the fourth Test at Southampton which India lost by 60 runs to give the hosts an unassailable lead 3-1 in the five match series. In Trent Bridge, he had been hampered by a stiff groin.
With the series already lost, India have the opportunity to experiment with the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari in line for a Test debut. And with Vihari seen getting a net practice alongside skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday, Rahane was asked whether the 24-year-old is in line for a debut, but the vice-captain opted not to divulge in to team selection.
“Hanuma has been doing really well in domestic season, but we will have to wait and see what the captain and the coach think about the team composition. You (reporters) will have the answer tomorrow,” Rahane said.