India’s bowling coach Bharath Arun said that English batsmen are “wary of Ravichandran Ashwin’s abilities” on tracks with “assistance” but a call on the senior off-spinner’s inclusion will only be taken on Thursday morning ahead of the fourth Test. Ashwin, one of the world’s leading off-spinners, has been benched for three consecutive Test matches with Ravindra Jadeja being played as a “batting all-rounder”. “Ashwin, no doubt, is one of the best bowlers we have and its unfortunate that he has not played so far but if there is an opportunity and if we feel that he is going to fit into the scheme of things, they will definitely both be bowling in tandem,” Arun said when asked if both the spinners can fit into the playing XI at Oval which aids spin bowling.
However, Arun hinted that English batters’ circumspect way of handling Ashwin may lead to a change in nature of the track along with fickle English weather playing its part.
“History at The Oval says that it aids spin but you also know how the Englishmen are wary of Ashwin’s abilities of what he could do if there is any assistance from the track,” Arun said.
“The best thing would be to decide after looking at the track tomorrow morning as anything could happen between now and tomorrow. So we look at it tomorrow morning and decide.”
The bowling coach said that his bowlers shouldn’t be judged by England’s 400-plus score in one innings as they have defended a lot of low scores over the years.
“It’s a challenge for bowlers to defend low scores and they have done it in the past. I don’t think its fair to pull up the bowlers if they haven’t done it on one occasion and you got to realise we are playing closely-fought international series,” Arun said.
“There are bound to be losses, which we know and we have to accept and take positives and then move on.”
Arun conceded that against England captain Joe Root, his team has given easy runs first up in all the Test matches.
“We have given him pretty fast starts and obviously we look deep in those areas and stem those,” he said.
He also clarified that Jadeja had gone to the Leeds hospital for a scan and wearing the green hospital uniform did create unnecessary panic.
“It was a very, very normal precautionary scan he went through. All he had to do was to wear a hospital uniform and click a picture that created a scam,” he said.
Arun reminded one and all that this is the same team that came back after being 36 all out and there is no reason that they can’t do it again.
“We have done it in the past, we were bowled out for 36 and bounced back. Also against England at home, we came back after big defeat (in Chennai),” Arun said.
“We can take confidence from what we have done in past. You will see a lot more spirited performance.”
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