Kuldeep our X-factor but we can’t forget Ashwin, Jadeja: Ajinkya Rahane

first_imgIndia vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has come out in support of experienced spin twin R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja even as conversations revolved around Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm chinaman bowler who bamboozled England in the T20I and ODI series recently.Kuldeep picked up a five-wicket haul in the first T20I and then pocketed 6 for 25 in the first ODI. He has traumatised England so far this summer and was eventually picked as the third spinner in the squad – a rarity in overseas Test series. Many now expect him to edge out either of Ashwin or Jadeja in the first Test of the five-match series which starts in Edgbaston from August 1.However, Rahane said while Kuldeep was the X-factor in the side, it would not be wise to forget Aswhin and Jadeja, who have together taken 487 Test wickets. While Ashwin has 316 wickets and is the fastest to 300 Test wickets, Jadeja has snared 171 wickets from only 36 Tests.Kuldeep, who has played only two Tests, is likely to play in Edgbaston but that will depend on how the Indian team management looks at the pitch. It rained on Sunday but Monday was sunny and allowed India their first practice session on Monday. It is expected to be sunny and warm over the week which could mean a more significant role for the slower bowlers.However, Rahane indicated it would not be an easy choice for the leadership when it came down to finalising the spinner/s in the playing XI.READ – Virat Kohli will show British public why he is the best: Ravi Shastriadvertisement”Kuldeep is the X-factor in our team. We will have to see how the wicket will be like tomorrow and the day after but we don’t have to forget about Ashwin and Jadeja.”Ashwin and Jadeja have been doing really well for us; Ashwin especially with his batting as well as his bowling,” Rahane told the media two days before the first Test starts.”What are @ajinkyarahane88’s thoughts on the team’s spin bowling department? Interesting insights here #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/FuHYr90e3UBCCI (@BCCI) July 30, 2018READ – England 2014 to England 2018: India make big strides in Test cricketThe other concern plaguing India is the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara. Neither batsman had a good time in the five-Test series back in 2014 and both men struggled in the warm-up match against Essex last week. In fact, Dhawan bagged a pair.However, Rahane said the team was “not at all worried” about the form of their two senior pros.READ – Virat Kohli’s Team India make the most of sunny day in Birmingham”We are not at all worried. Both are quality batsmen. It takes you one innings to get back in form. We all back them. But ultimately, the coach and captain will take the final decision,” he said.There was a bit of controversy over the England Test squad selection. Adil Rashid, the leg-spinner was picked in the side based on his performances in the limited-overs matches despite his reluctance to play four-day cricket. Former England skipper Michael Vaughan was critical of the move leading to a war of words between him and Rashid.But Rahane said he was not surprised with England’s decision to pick Rashid given the dry conditions in England.READ – India vs England: Injury concerns around India’s pace attack”I am not surprised with Adil Rashid’s selection – he is a very good bowler. Right now, playing in England is like playing in Mumbai or Chennai. We should back our abilities and focus on our skills.”Vice-captain @ajinkyarahane88 loves the challenges abroad and is raring to go against England #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/okTO6xwiyzBCCI (@BCCI) July 30, 2018Rahane also said India have had decent practice ahead of the opening Test. They had reduced their practice match by a day to reach Birmingham a day early. However, rain on Sunday meant the visitors could not get down to training before Monday.READ – Anderson, Broad will need to scissor Virat Kohli’s feet: Michael Vaughan”We had decent practice in Essex before and during the match. It is important to focus on the mindset especially in England – how quickly you adjust to the conditions. It will be a test of our mind and character here.”Playing in England is always a challenge, It is important to play some good cricket, rather than thinking of the result. Guys are in good shape. (We need to) enjoy the challenge of playing overseas. Really looking forward to that.”advertisementlast_img

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