Off The Field

India vs New Zealand, WTC Final: I’d play both Ashwin and Jadeja, says Maninder Singh

Written by Abhishek Patil

Former cricketer Maninder Singh urged the Indian team to play both their frontline spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand later this month.

Pitches in England tend to assist seam and swing bowlers more than the tweakers therefore, playing two specialist spinners in a Test match is not something that most teams prefer to do but Maninder Singh thinks differently.

The former India left-arm spinner feels that spinners will get some help from the Ageas Bowl wicket due to the hot summer weather conditions in the United Kingdom this year and therefore, wants to see Ashwin and Jadeja in the playing XI.

“If I was in the team management, I would play both Ashwin and Jadeja. They can be a huge factor. There is going to be wear and tear anywhere as the Test match progresses.

“I keep talking to my friends there (in England) and they say it has become hot, these summer temperatures will soar. So if it is going to be the way it is then moisture won’t be that be effective. The pitch will dry out and spinners will start getting purchase and both are spinners are of good quality,” Maninder told Hindustan Times.

Ashwin and Jadeja are the most successful active spin-bowling duo in international cricket with a combined tally of 629 wickets in Test cricket alone. But the two have an ordinary record in England with 14 and 16 wickets, respectively.

Moreover, Ashwin and Jadeja haven’t played together in an overseas Test match in England since the 2014 tour, but Maninder Singh still believes they should be picked on “recent form”.

“Jadeja’s recent form with the bat has been exceptional. He has worked on his batting a lot. He gives you an extra option of having another bowler. The confidence of scoring runs has rubbed off on his bowling.

“Ashwin is a class act. Ashwin has improved a lot and he can now get you wickets on any track, which was not the case when he first started touring overseas. But now, with the experience he is a different bowler,” he said.

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Abhishek Patil