Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels Ravichandran Ashwin should play ahead of Ravindra Jadeja if India decide to go in with only one spinner at Lord’s. According to Butt, the surface at Lord’s is known to aid slow bowlers. Hence, India will need to make a sensible choice.
Jadeja was preferred ahead of Ashwin for the first Test in Nottingham. He scored a crucial half-century with the bat but did not have much to do with his left-arm spin.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt shared his views on the Jadeja vs Ashwin debate ahead of the Lord’s Test. He stated:
“If India are looking at a better spin option, Ravichandran Ashwin is definitely ahead in the race. On the other hand, if one is seeking a three-dimensional player, Ravindra Jadeja has the edge. If the surface looks like one that offers spin, I would go with Ashwin as well. He can bowl with the new ball too. Ashwin bowls odd lines and lengths and is brilliant at it. He can add value to the team and will be a wicket-taking option.”
Pointing out that spinners have traditionally enjoyed bowling at Lord’s, Butt added:
“Historically, spinners have got wickets at Lord’s. Yasir Shah claimed a lot of wickets when Pakistan beat England there. Shane Warne also enjoyed bowling at this venue. India have played quite a few matches at the venue as well, so they would be aware of what could be on offer. Jadeja played an outstanding innings in the previous Test and is an excellent cricketer. But if India want to go with one spinner, Ashwin would be the right choice. As for batting, he is no mug as he too has Test centuries to his name.”
Will Ashwin replace Shardul Thakur at Lord’s?
According to media reports on Tuesday, Team India pacer Shardul Thakur is likely to miss the second Test at Lord’s due to a hamstring injury. Ravichandran Ashwin could be one of the possible replacements for Thakur.
On the other hand, if India want to replace Thakur with a pacer, the experienced Ishant Sharma could come back into the playing XI. Sharma missed the first Test in Nottingham due to a niggle. Umesh Yadav is another fast bowling option in the Indian squad.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj look set to retain their places in the playing XI on the basis of their impressive performances in the first Test. It remains to be seen if India go in with four pacers at Lord’s or pick two spinners, a move that backfired against New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.