The first Test between England and India was drawn due to rain on the final day of the match. Both sides are now focusing on the second Test, scheduled to start on August 12 at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. After the end of the series opener, Indian captain Virat Kohli gave clear hints regarding the playing combination, especially the bowling attack.
Kohli said that the 4-1 template (4 pacers and one spinner) is likely to remain for all the games unless there is a change in conditions and the pace of the wicket.
“Most likely, it will be a template going ahead [4-1 combination], but we’ve always been adaptable as well, to the conditions and pace of the wicket. The conditions and the pace on the wicket need to be seen, but this team will be our template,” Kohli said on Sunday.
However, many experts are of the opinion that Team India should come up with one change for the upcoming Lord’s Test. Former India batsman VVS Laxman has suggested that India should include senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI.
The absence of Ashwin in the Trent Bridge Test raised many eyebrows as he has been the pick of the bowler for India irrespective of the conditions. Ashwin finished the first phase of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) as the highest wicket-taker (71).
Despite that, the Tamil Nadu spinner was left out in the first Test, and Shardul Thakur was given a chance, who impressed one and all with his four-wicket performance in the game. But Thakur failed to contribute with the bat and was dismissed for a duck in the first innings.
Laxman believed that Ashwin has all the potential and skills to perform irrespective of what the pitch offers.
“I would definitely draft in R Ashwin into the playing XI. It will add depth to the Indian bowling and also versatility and different options to the captain,” Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.
“Irrespective of what the weather forecast or the conditions, R Ashwin is a more than capable bowler. He is skillful enough to perform, not only perform but to put in a match-winning performance and put pressure on the English batters,” he added.