The first Test between India and England is just round the corner and talks about team composition for the first Test has begun. With so many performers in a single squad, the process does get a bit difficult.
With sub-continent conditions in play now, questions regarding the bowling composition have popped up. Three pacer and two spinners or vice-versa? Who will be the team’s second spinner? If India is playing the third spinner, who should it be?
Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha was giving answers to all these questions in his latest interview with Sports Today. Ojha, who himself played 24 Tests for India, reckoned that Kuldeep Yadav should make the cut as second spinner because of the variation he will bring in the bowling line-up.
Pragyan Ojha opted for Axar Patel as the third spinner but only after explaining his reasons for not having Washington Sundar in the playing XI.
“I think Kuldeep Yadav should get chance with Ashwin and then Axar Patel. Washington Sundar was hero in Australia, but we have Ashwin and why not have variation there. We can have someone like Kuldeep Yadav, who can bowl chinaman. If you are looking for another spinner then Axar can bat for you and keep things tight like Jadeja,” Pragyan Ojha told on Sports Today.
Hardik Pandya an asset but he needs to bowl: Pragyan Ojha
Further, the 34-year-old added that Hardik Pandya’s selection for the first Test will depend on MA Chidambaram wicket. Pragyan Ojha expressed concern over the match fitness of Hardik Pandya, who has not played a Test match since September 2018 and stayed away from bowling even in the white-ball matches. According to Pragyan, Hardik Pandya is an asset but he will have to start bowling again.
“It depends on the wicket, how the wicket is going to behave. Then they will go with either one spinner or may be with Hardik. Yes, he is a very big asset for any team he plays for, given the fact that he needs to bowl. If he starts bowling, as Deep Dasgupta was saying that they will be monitoring him, he is someone our team will be preparing for the England series but everything comes down to his bowling, can he bowl?
“Because if you talk about Test match it’s totally different. In white-ball cricket you have maximum of two or three spells and T20 is just 4 overs. So its just totally different but in Test match every session you have to bowl, you body warms up, then it cools down, then again you have to come warm up and bowl. So, every session when you are bowling and doing that, let’ see how he takes all that. That’s a reason Test cricket is very important and he needs to be 100 per cent fit,” Pragyan Ojha said.