IND vs ENG: The Virat Kohli-led India team scripted history by securing a memorable 151-run win against England in the second Test at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground. This was India’s third Test victory at the Lord’s after 1986 and 2014. However, a lot of eyebrows were raised on the big decision of leaving out senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin from the playing XI in the first two Tests against England.
In the first two Test matches against England, India has played a lone spinner, Ravindra Jadeja, in the playing XI while Ashwin has been warming the bench. Recently, the ace India off-spinner opened up on his exclusion from the side. In a conversation with fielding coach R Sridhar on his YouTube show, ‘Kutti Story’, Ravi Ashwin mentioned that he was very much likely to play the Lord’s Test match, however, the rain intervention just before the toss forced the visitors to go with the idea of playing four fast bowlers.
“The funny thing was, before the match, they were like, ‘There’s a heatwave. You please be ready mate. You might play.’ Upon coming to breakfast in the morning, rains started lashing out. I asked, ‘Won’t you tell about heatwave after it came? Why gave me hope only for it to end in disappointment!’,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.
With no major update on Shardul Thakur’s fitness and Headingley offering helpful conditions for the seamers, India is very much likely to play the same side in the 3rd Test against England starting from 25 August. This means that Ashwin will have sit out once again. On the other hand, England have made some big changes in their squad for the upcoming third Test match. Dawid Malan is likely to make a return into the England playing 11 in the longest format since 2018 while Haseeb Hameed will open the batting alongside Rory Burns after Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley being dropped from the squad. India have taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series against England.
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