If reports in Times of India are to be believed then Team India is likely to play three spinners in the first Test against England at the Chepauk. Chennai historically has produced turning wickets and this series is being built around the battle between the Indian spinners against the England batsmen. The first two Tests will be played in Chennai with the first of them starting from February 5.
The Indian team have had a first look at the pitch with the naked eye. In all likelihood, Kuldeep Yadav will partner first-choice spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. In case India needs more depth in batting, Washington Sundar will get the nod over Axar Patel given his recent exploits with the bat in Australia.
India Mulling To Play 3 Spinners in Chennai
“If the management wants more depth in batting, Washi should get a go. But Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya had a lot of success against the England batsmen a week back and they may be tempted to go with Axar. A left-arm spinner also brings more control on the proceedings,” a source in the know of things told TOI.
Meanwhile, the return of Ishant Sharma will see him replace Mohammed Siraj, despite the latter having a dream run against Australia.
“It’s true that Siraj has done well in Australia but if there are no fitness issues with Ishant, his experience will help him get the nod for the first Test with Jasprit Bumrah,” the source indicated.
Meanwhile, England too are looking to go in with two specialist spinners. With Ben Stokes fill in the role of an all-rounder, England will play Jack Leach and Dom Bess as their specialist spinners. This means Moeen Ali might not get to play the first Test. James Anderson and Jofra Archer might be the two specialist pacers England field in the first Test. It will be interesting how England fit in Stuart Broad in their scheme of things in the first Test.
“We had a first look today and a lot could change from now till Friday,” said Archer who is in his first trip to India.