Ashwin Doubtful for Boxing Day Test Match

Indian veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is a doubtful starter for the Boxing Day test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Stadium in Melbourne. He was also earlier sidelined for the 2nd Test match in Perth due to abdominal strain from which he is still recovering.

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has confirmed the same and stated that Ashwin will be monitored over the next day or so before taking a call regarding his inclusion in the Boxing Day Test match. Shastri also confirmed that the other spinner in the squad Ravindra Jadeja is carrying a niggle too.

Ravichandran Ashwin (left) and Ravindra Jadeja (right) // PTI

According to Indian coach, Jadeja needed an injection in his shoulder just after he arrived Down Under which is why the team management had opted not to risk him for the 2nd Test in Perth. India had gone in with Umesh Yadav as the fourth pacer in Perth but the move backfired on the visitors as Australia leveled four-match series with 146-run win in Perth.

“When you look at Perth, we felt Jadeja was about 70-80 per cent fit and we didn’t want to risk that in Perth. If he was 80 per cent fit here [MCG], he would play. He had taken an injection even in India but he played domestic cricket after that. He still felt stiff in the shoulder when he came here and he was injected again, and it takes time to settle,” said Ravi Shastri about Ravindra Jadeja.

“It took longer than we expected, hence we had to be careful. The last thing we wanted was someone breaking down after five or 10 overs and then we are stuck for players to pick for Melbourne or Sydney. We’ll have to evaluate fitness over a 24-hour period and take it one step from there, and also the conditions,” added Shastri.

However, Ravindra Jadeja spent most of the time on the field in the 2nd Test match as a sub fielder starting from Day 1. He didn’t look like he was struggling while fielding in Perth and the latest comments from Ravi Shastri about Jadeja’s fitness received another back lash!

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya who was sidelined for the first two Test matches has been included in India’s squad for the last two Test matches at MCG and SCG. There is a high chance that he might replace Hanuma Vihari for the 3rd Test match. Also, Mayank Agarwal might get to replace one of the struggling Indian openers for the Boxing Day Test match.

Keep reading for similar updates from India tour of Australia 2018


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About Phaneendra Varma 146 Articles
Fan of Cricket. Devotee of Sachin. Follower of the Cricket game since 2003 World Cup!

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