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Should India include Ashwin for 2nd Test?

August 09, 2021 18:09 IST
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Ravichandran Ashwin

IMAGE: India could pick Ravichandran Ashwin, who took six wickets in a county game for Surrey last month, for the second Test against England at Lord's starting on Thursday. Photograph: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Even though rain robbed their chances of pushing for victory on the final day, India will take a lot of confidence from their spirited showing in the first Test when they had England on the ropes for the most part of the rain-hit opening match.

Set 209 for victory on a difficult pitch, India needed another 157 runs, but they were left frustrated after the fifth and final day's play was washed out without a ball being bowled.

After his below par showing in the World Test Championship final, Jasprit Bumrah roared back to form, picking up nine wickets in the match -- including 5/64 in the second innings.

Not to forget his cameo with the bat as he scored a career-best 28 to help raise India's lead to 95 in the first innings.

Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj bowled their hearts out in seamer-friendly conditions while medium pace all-rounder Shardul Thakur justified his inclusion with crucial strikes in both innings.

Ravindra Jadeja, included ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin as the lone spinner, didn't make much of an impact with the ball and went wicketless but made a vital contribution with the bat, scoring 56, to help India take a sizeable first innings lead.

K L Rahul, drafted as the opener after Mayank Agarwal was injured in the nets, made most of the opportunity with a fine 84 to give India a solid start in the first innings.

Following such a confident showing with both bat and ball, India are most likely to retain the same team for the second Test at Lord's, starting on Thursday, August 12, 2021.

Captain Virat Kohli has indicated that India will continue with the 4-1 seam-spin combination for the remainder of the five-match series.

'Most likely this will be our template in this series, but adaptability has been our strength. The conditions and the pace on the wicket needs to be seen, but this team will be our template,' the skipper said after the match on Sunday.

The only point to ponder for the Indians will be the spinner. Should they continue with Jadeja, who was lacklustre with the ball but contributed with the bat?

Or should they include Ravichandran Ashwin, who is a handful with the ball in any conditions, as he proved with a six wicket haul for Surrey last month?

Who do you think should be part of India's playing XI in the second Test against England?

Please select your team from the list and do post your playing XI in the message board below.

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