"Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel Pretty Similar...": Ravi Shastri Wants This Youngster As India's Third Spinner Against Australia
Shastri, under whose tutelage India won back-to-back Test series in Australia, also has no hesitation in naming Kuldeep Yadav as his choice as the third spinner
Ravichandran Ashwin's form will decide the fate of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, feels former India head coach Ravi Shastri, who wouldn't want the team's premier spinner to "over-plan" against Australia in the upcoming four-match Test series. Shastri, under whose tutelage India won back-to-back Test series in Australia, also has no hesitation in naming Kuldeep Yadav as his choice as the third spinner while keeping Suryakumar Yadav as a potent middle-order game-changer.
"Ashwin, you don't want him to over-plan. He is good enough to stick to his plans as he is real crucial player here. His form might decide the series. Ashwin comes as a package, he will get you important runs as well," Shastri said, while answering a query from PTI during an interaction organised by Star Sports, the official broadcasters of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
"If Ashwin is on fire, that might decide the outcome of the series. He is world class in most conditions but in Indian conditions, he is lethal. If the ball starts spinning and there is enough bite off the surface, he will trouble most batters.
"So, you don't want Ashwin to over-think and try too many things. Just keep it there and let the pitch do the rest because as it is, it does enough in India," Shastri, one of the shrewdest brains in Indian cricket, said.
To another query as the third spinner, Shastri replied: "As far as third spinner is concerned, I would like to see Kuldeep play straightaway. Jadeja and Axar are pretty similar bowlers. Kuldeep is different. If you lose the toss on Day 1, you need someone who will give it a rip.
"If anyone spins it one Day 1, it will be Kuldeep. If the track doesn't have too much on offer, then Kuldeep can come into play." He also gave another important reason to include Kuldeep in the playing XI.
"As the game progresses with the fast bowlers the Australians have, the rough created on both sides of the track will come into play. So wrist spinners can get the ball to turn back in and out both ways." Shastri is unapologetic when asked about the kind of track he would want.
"I want the ball to turn from Day 1. Lose the toss, so be it. Something there on offer from Day 1, playing at home, cash in on it."
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