Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra feels that off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence in the second Test will hurt the visitors. The cricketer-turned-commentator has stated that on the fourth and fifth day, the pitch will get even slower,which demands a skilled spin bowler in your team.
India announced their playing XI with four seamers and a lone spinner, similar to the first Test in Nottingham. Ishant Sharma was selected as the fourth seamer as he replaced an injured Shardul Thakur. Skipper Virat Kohli decided to boost the pace strength as the Lord’s pitch offers help to the pacers. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was picked as the lone spinner in the team, which made the management leave out Ashwin for the second Test at Lord’s. Moreover, England bowlers did not allow the Indian tailenders to put up a fight as the visitors were restricted to 364.
Leaving out Ashwin, who can be a useful hand to the team with bat and bowl has raised many eyebrows. The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer has displayed his talent with the willow in the recent past in Chennai, as he scored a brilliant ton against England. Selecting Ashwin to the playing XI could have provided India an additional batting option at No.8. Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra feels that the poor team selection by Virat Kohli and his team will hurt the visitors.
“Let's be fair, let's be honest, the tail was too long. Shami, Siraj, Bumrah, Ishant - I mean you don't expect a lot of runs. So it has come back to bite you because none of the four fast bowlers you played bat,” Chopra quipped.
The fast bowlers are having a great time in the second Test at Lord’s, but it is predicted that the pitch will get slower as each session progresses. The fourth and fifth day of the Test match will be very crucial to India as England will be batting fourth. Aakash Chopra feels that if Ashwin was part of the playing XI, India could have taken the advantage of a slower pitch in the final sessions.
“You have not played Ravichandran Ashwin and this pitch is getting slower. The edges are also not carrying and that's another thing that is going to be a regular feature of this Test match that the pitch is getting slower and slightly lower. You need spin on the fourth and fifth day, it is almost certain,” he explained.