Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should be a part of the playing XI when Virat Kohli & Co tour South Africa later this month. India are due to play three Tests against the Proteas, scheduled to commence on December 26 in Centurion.
The comments came after Ashwin was adjudged the player of the series for exploits in the two-match Test series. He returned with 14 wickets and scored some crucial runs when his side needed the most.
A series win over the world champs ! Feels great to win a test at the Wankhede always. 👌👌A fab innings by @mayankcricket and great bowling performance by @AjazP . A special thanks to the @NorthStandGang for their support through the game 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/NbgJZUnwHz
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) December 6, 2021
When asked to pick between Ravichandra Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the 1st Test against South Africa, Aakash Chopra went with the off-spinner. Speaking to Star Sports, he said:
“According to me, he should play. It’s a tough call because where Jadeja scores over Ashwin is that he is giving runs, that you can play him at No.6 or No.7. In my opinion, it’s a fantastic headache because Jadeja took just six wickets in the four matches on the England tour.”
Aakash Chopra also added that both Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can be part of the playing XI.
“If you are going to get only six wickets from a spinner, you will definitely ask a question whether Ashwin can give you better. Perhaps, he can. If you pick a bowler like Jadeja for his runs, not the ideal thing to do. You can go with two spinners and three fast bowlers as well because the fourth fast bowler, whenever he plays, goes a little under-bowled. Ashwin will definitely give you more overs and can probably bat as well as Shardul,” Aakash Chopra added.
However, it will interesting to see if India move away from their set template and play two spinners against South Africa.
“Ashwin just keeps racking up these awards” – Aakash Chopra
Ashwin was adjudged as the player of the series for his overall contribution in the series against the Black Caps. This marked Ashwin’s ninth player of the series award, the highest by any Indian player in this format. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said:
“Ashwin has won yet another player of the series award. Ashwin just keeps racking up these awards. Made crucial runs in both innings of the first Test. We should acknowledge what 300 wickets at home means, it is an elite club.
“He is a spinner, but he is known for his pace. The pace with which he breaks record after record. Please do not underestimate this feat by saying that spinners have it easy in India,” he added.