Ashwin has managed to secure nine wickets in the series, averaging 36.33. However, he has fallen short of producing four-wicket or five-wicket hauls so far.In contrast, England’s Tom Hartley has outperformed Ashwin in the spin department, claiming 14 wickets at an average of 24.57, including a notable seven-wicket haul in the first Test.Chopra emphasised the need for imagination when facing attacks on flat pitches, suggesting that Ashwin should adapt a more creative approach to counter the challenges posed by the opposition.
“I am with you, actually. If you play too much cricket on extreme spin-friendly pitches continuously, when you go to flat pitches and the opposing team suddenly comes with an aggressive mindset, you have to be more imaginative, which you expect,” Chopra asserted while talking on his YouTube channel.
The former cricketer turned commentator also highlighted that since Ashwin is approaching the milestone of 500 wickets, it is imperative for him to grasp the nuances of bowling effectively on flat pitches.
“Ashwin is standing on the verge of 500 wickets. So you expect that he will understand and manage all these things. However, the truth is that the Ravi of Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t risen in the series thus far. That’s probably a combination of being used to mostly playing on turning pitches and Bazball,” the right-hand batter added.
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced the squad for the remaining three Tests of the five-match series against England, with star batter Virat Kohli set to miss the remaining matches as well due to personal reasons. Virat had earlier missed the first two Tests. Now, his absence is extended to three more games. His last appearance came in the T20I series against Afghanistan earlier in January.
Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar are part of the series. The participation of batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is subject to their fitness, said BCCI.
Mohammed Shami, who had missed the first two Tests due to injury, continues to sit out. Pacer Akash Deep has also been included in the squad.
The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot while the fourth Test kickstarts in Ranchi on February 23 while the fifth and final Test of the series will be played in Dharamsala from March 7. The series is currently level 1-1. After a 28-run loss in the first Hyderabad Test, India won the second Test at Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.
(With inputs from ANI)