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India’s ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could miss the fifth and final Test of the series at the Oval after reports have emerged (from Times of India) that the off-spinner might have injured himself in the fourth Test at Southampton.
With just over three days to go for the Oval Test, India might rope in left-arm spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has been carrying drinks for almost the entirety of the England tour. Jadeja, who last played a Test match against Afghanistan is currently ranked third in the ICC Test bowling rankings.
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Ashwin had previously suffered a hip injury during the Nottingham Test and was given the green signal after he’d passed the fitness test leading into Southampton. However, the Indian off-spinner had a disspointing game as he was unable to make use of the ‘rough marks’ outside the right-handers off-stump. Ashwin consistently bowled a lot faster than his average speeds contrary to Moeen Ali, who kept targeting the rough relentlessly in India’s fourth innings.
Consequently, it turned out to be the difference between both sides as Moeen Ali claimed match-figures of 9-134 to effectively end India’s hopes as they capitulated to 184 all-out in pursuit of 246 in the fourth innings to hand England an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match Pataudi Trophy. India, who last won the Pataudi Trophy in 2007 when Rahul Dravid-led side defeated England 1-0 in the three-match series has proceeded to lose three back-to-back Test series on the English isles following a 0-4 and 1-3 drubbing in 2011 and 2014. \
Ashwin, who had started the 5-match series in a sensational manner- getting Alastair Cook bowled twice at Birmingham, looked a pale shadow of himself at Southampton and with reports emerging regarding his fitness concerns, it is prudent to get Jadeja into the side who can exploit another ‘dry pitch’ that the Oval traditionally offers.
The fifth and final Test of the Pataudi Trophy will commence at the Oval on Friday, September 07.