Ravi Shastri on R Ashwin's inclusion in Test side: 'Sometimes Nothing is Automatic'

India take on South Africa in the first Test at Vizag on October 2
Ravi Shastri on R Ashwin's inclusion in Test side: 'Sometimes Nothing is Automatic'Ravi Shastri on R Ashwin's inclusion in Test side: 'Sometimes Nothing is Automatic'
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Ahead of the Test series against South Africa, Head coach Ravi Shastri has said that ace off-spinner R Ashwin is not an automatic inclusion in the playing eleven. Ashwin, who has represented India in 65 Tests till date, has picked up 342 wickets at an average of 25.44 including 26 five-wicket hauls and 7 ten-wicket match hauls and has bowled some terrific spells to help India to some memorable victories.

However, in recent times, the 33-year-old Chennai-born off-spinner has not been an automatic choice in the playing eleven especially in overseas conditions, where the fast bowlers have done well as a unit. Even in the recently concluded Test series against West Indies, R Ashwin failed to get a go.

Head coach Ravi Shastri defended his decision to bench the spinner and said that it was a tactical decision taken by the team management.

He said, "Those are tactical things, which I can't speak to you. You saw in the West Indies what happened, and now you will see the results. You can't ask me who plays in the eleven because everyone is part of us."

"Ashwin is world class, we got Ravindra Jadeja who is world class, we got Kuldeep Yadav who will be world class in due course, he is still young."

Ashwin is yet to represent India in a Test match in this calendar year. He last featured in a Test against Australia in Adelaide in 2018. After that game, Ashwin was forced to sit out in three Tests because of an abdominal strain.

It would be interesting to see if the team management pick R Ashwin for the first Test or go in with Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

The first Test against South Africa will be played at Vizag from October 2.

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