Seasoned India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that he was in contention to play the second Test against England until rain forced the team management to go with the four-pacer and one-spinner combination.
Ashwin, the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket this year with 38 plucks to his name, warmed the bench in the first game at Trent Bridge. Many fans anticipated that Ashwin will play at Lord's but Ishant Sharma replaced an injured Shardul Thakur for the second Test.
In his YouTube show, ‘Kutti Story’ with fielding coach R Sridhar, Ashwin said that the rains started "lashing out" in the morning and the visitors decided to go with the same team composition.
“The funny thing was, before the match, they were like, ‘There’s a heatwave. You please be ready mate. You might play.’
"Upon coming to breakfast in the morning, rains started lashing out. I asked, ‘Won’t you tell about heatwave after it came? Why gave me hope only for it to end in disappointment!’,” quipped Ashwin.
Skipper Virat Kohli had also said at the toss that Ashwin was in the 12 that was announced within the group but Ishant was included after they had a look at the pitch and conditions.
“We announced 12 within the group and Ashwin definitely was part of that. But after looking at the pitch, the conditions and considering how a fourth seamer can be an attacking option, this makes the most sense for us as a team,” Kohli had said.
The Test series opener ended in a draw but the Indian unit registered a memorable win at Lord's to go 1-0 up in the five-Test series. The third Test will get underway from August 25 in Leeds.
England have already named a 15-member squad for the third Test featuring Dawid Malan. The left-hander is returning to the Test squad for the first time in three years. He last played Test cricket in August 2018 in England’s victory over India at Edgbaston.
"Dawid Malan deserves his opportunity in the Test arena. He has a lot of experience across all formats and, if called upon, I am confident that he can come and do well on his home ground," England head coach Chris Silverwood said.