India vs England Test series: Playing R Ashwin good for providing depth in batting, says Sunil Gavaskar

Playing Kuldeep Yadav can be a good fit as far as depth in batting is concerned if India also play Ravichandran Ashwin, says former captain Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar, in his column for the Times of India, said that weather in England, which has been more like those found in India this month, has now taken a rather humid turn. “It’s changed slightly in the last couple of days to being a bit overcast and some rains around. If it stays this way, the new ball bowlers will enjoy themselves and the ball will move a bit more and they can bowl longer spells too,” he wrote.

Kuldeep’s performances in the ODI and T20I series that were played in July earned him a place in the Indian Test team that plays England in a five-match series starting on August 1 at Edgbaston. His presence puts the participation of India’s regular Test spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, in question. Gavaskar opines that going with Ashwin would mean that, including Hardik Pandya, India will have two bowlers who had Test hundreds under their belt. “They can bat deep even if they go with five batsmen and there’s Dinesh Karthik too, who has a Test hundred. If Karthik bats at six and Ashwin and Pandya to follow then they can play Kuldeep Yadav as the second spinner.

This is the first time since 2014 that India are playing in England for a five-Test series. They had previously done so in 2014. The team, then led by MS Dhoni started the series well, drawing the first Test and recording a historic win in the second Test which was played at Lord’s. But they went on to lose the next three and conceded the series 3-1. The first match of this series that will be played on August 1 at Edgbaston will also be England 1000th Test.