'If only one spinner plays...': Chopra names his pick between Ashwin and Jadeja for India vs South Africa Test series
- Ahead of the India-South Africa Test series, former opener Aakash Chopra explained who he'd pick if Virat Kohli and Co. were to pick only one spinner.
The India-New Zealand Test series culminated only two days ago and another 18 days remain before India's Tour of South Africa begins but the discussions and debate surrounding the playing XI have already picked up the heat. The latest to join the choir is Aakash Chopra, who has given his views on the selection dilemma between R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
R Ashwin or Jadeja? This has been the biggest question in Indian cricket for almost a year now. Every time a series begins, this is one of the first questions to be asked. Ahead of the SA series, where pitches are bound to be seamer-friendly, the team management has been met with this 'headache' again.
While Jadeja picked up 5 wickets and scored 50 runs in the first game, before being ruled out of the second due to inadequate match fitness, Ashwin took home the ‘Player of the Series’ award by claiming 14 wickets over the course of the series.
Former India Chopra, while talking about who should play in SA, should India go with four pacers and one spinner, quipped:
"It's a toughy, it's a very very tough one - who will they want to pick? One spinner - Ashwin should play but Jadeja might end up playing, just because of the balance, not because Jadeja can give you more wickets than Ashwin.
"If you are going to go with five batters and Rishabh Pant at six, you will need a batter at No.7. Can Ashwin play at No.7 - he can but is it too high - maybe it is. Can Jaddu play - yes he can. Is it too high for him - maybe not."
"If you are going to go with five batters and Rishabh Pant at six, you will need a batter at No.7. Can Ashwin play at No.7 - he can but is it too high - maybe it is. Can Jaddu play - yes he can. Is it too high for him - maybe not.
"So here Jadeja's role becomes bigger. So you will play Jaddu, you will play Shardul and then three fast bowlers, who will be three proper fast bowlers - Siraj, Bumrah and Shami. Then you have got Shardul at eight and Jadeja at seven.
"If only one spinner plays - Jaddu, as much as I really want Ashwin to play because between him and Jaddu, I feel Ashwin will pick up more wickets - this is no slight on Jadeja's performance but you feel that in wicket-taking ability Ashwin will bring more to the table. That's what I feel."