Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were both selected for Team India’s upcoming South Africa tour.© AFP
Ex-spinner Pragyan Ojha discussed the selection of Ravindra Jadeja over Ravichandran Ashwin in Tests away from home and explained the reasoning behind the decision in recent matches by the team management. Talking on former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra’s YouTube channel, Ojha explained why Jadeja presents a better all-round package as far as overseas Tests are concerned. Ojha went back to the time of former spin greats Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and elaborated on how the former was picked as the main spinner with Harbhajan getting a chance when there more left-handers in the opposition team.
“When Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were playing, the thinking of the team was different. The team management always wanted specialist spinners in the side which India had two in Kumble and Harbhajan. Both were quite exceptional. So Harbhajan would play when the opposition had more left-handers in the side and Kumble was mostly present as the first spinner in the team,” said Pragyan Ojha.
Ojha said the thinking now has changed with the team management preferring to go with five batters overseas.
According to him, Jadeja’s consistent batting skills in foreign conditions is the reason why he is being picked ahead of Ashwin.
“Now, the thinking has changed. The captain wants to go with five batters. When you go in with five batters and have Jadeja as an option, he makes 30-40 runs on a consistent basis in away conditions and 60, 70, or 80 runs in Indian conditions. This makes both spinners play in India while Jadeja makes a strong case for himself for overseas Tests. Maybe that is why he is being selected over Ashwin.”
Both all-rounders are part of the Indian squad that will take on South Africa at their home from December 26 at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The second Test will be played at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg from January 3 to 7, 2022. The Test series will conclude with the third and final Test in Newlands in Cape Town from January 11 to 15.
Topics mentioned in this article