After two scintillating Test series wins against Australia and England, India are all set for their next red ball hiatus in the United Kingdom. The Asian giants will be featuring in the much awaited World Test Championship (WTC) final next month before squaring off with England in a five game Test series. Going into such marquee games, India continues to struggle with selection headaches.
The biggest of them being in the spin all rounder department. With the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to choose from, it will be interesting to see who skipper Virat Kohli goes with. Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha feels that India should pick both the all rounders in the side. Ojha asserts that the duo has the experience of excelling on any wicket.
“Both of them can play. They should play, both of them. Because both can bat, both have the experience of bowling on any track. The biggest plus point is Jadeja can bat up the order. The way he is performing. Mind you if you look at his domestic record, he’s got three triple hundreds.”
“I think he can bat long and Ashwin has got international hundreds also. I feel if there’s a little chance where you can play both the spinners, you should play. They have enough experience to win you games on any wicket,” Ojha told Sports Today.
“One of Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul can be the Indian captain,” Pragyan Ojha
India is all set to tour neighbors Sri Lanka during the second half of July. The men in blue will be playing three T20 Internationals and as many ODIs in the island nation. The fact that the tour coincides with India’s tour England means the big guns in Kohli and Rohit Sharma along with others will be busy in a marquee five-match Test series.
This poses a big question for the BCCI, who will be leading India’s limited-overs specialists on the tour. Ojha feels that Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul should be the ones leading the side in Sri Lanka. With both their availability uncertain, Ojha feels Dhawan can be the one who can shoulder the responsibility.
“When you talk about a new team, you need a guy who has experience. If Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul is available then one of these two guys can be the Indian captain or if Shikhar Dhawan is there. Out of these three guys you can have one because your captain has to be experienced to handle things.“
“But if you ask me, I can think out-of-the-box at times when you can give a new team and try to build a new captain. Someone who is young and can be your next captain in the years to come, this (SL tour) is a great opportunity. This used to happen with the India A team, lot of people who captained that team went on to play for the country. It’s a great responsibility when you are thinking out-of-the-box, this is not a conventional thought,” said Ojha.
Barring seniority, Dhawan’s sublime form off late too makes him the front runner. Dhawan was all set to breach the 500 run mark for the second consecutive IPL season and has been a regular feature in the side for almost a decade. Hard hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya too is in line. While a back injury has not allowed him to take the ball regularly, he has been contributing heavily with the bat.