IND vs ENG: Shardul Thakur’s injury likely open doors for RV Ashwin

By Arjit - August 13, 2021 - Last updated on Sep 04, 2021 04:36 PM IND vs ENG: Shardul Thakur’s injury likely open doors for RV Ashwin

Shardul Thakur’s injury likely to bring Ravichandran Ashwin back in fray

The persistent rain halted Indias quest to go 1-0 up in the five-match series against England on the final day of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

The Virat Kohli-led team would be looking to make amends in the Lords Test, starting from Thursday.

However, the team management had a selection dilemma ahead of the second Test as Shardul Thakur is likely to miss the Lords Test due to a hamstring injury.

Sharduls injury might open the door to Indias best spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, coming into the playing XI.

Ashwin, who was dropped from the playing XI in the drawn opening game in Nottingham because of Ravindra Jadejas superior skills with the willow, is back in the mix as Thakur seems to have done his hamstring some damage during the training session at the Lords on Monday.

Its still not clear whether he picked up the injury during the first Test or not.

With Thakur being all but ruled out of the upcoming match, Kohli might have to revisit his 4-1 bowling combination, which cant be cast in stone considering the lean nature of his teams lower-order batting.

It would be interesting to see if England retains a green top as they did in 2018 when Indian batting collapsed twice in two days and all-rounder Chris Woakes walked away with the honors.

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In case, the pitch is on the drier side, there could possibly be no harm in playing both Ashwin and Jadeja, who can trouble this brittle England batting line-up with their different variations.

For Kohli, if four pacers are non-negotiable, then one among Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav will be straightaway replacing Thakur but the choice might not be that easy.

"Most likely it will be a template going ahead [4-1 combination], but weve always been adaptable as well, to the conditions and pace of the wicket," Kohli had said after the first Test.

But adaptability is the rider that Indian skipper used during that post-match conference and hence Ashwin, who is currently on the verge of surpassing Harbhajan Singhs (417 wickets) tally, comes into the picture.

England and India have been fined and docked two points each from their World Test Championship 2021-23 tally for slow over-rates in the Nottingham Test.

“Apart from the point deduction, hosts England were also fined 40 percent of their match fee for slow over-rate while Virat Kohlis India was also penalized 40 percent by match referee Chris Broad,” ICC said in a statement.

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