Unsure Australia make no SPECIAL plan to tackle R Ashwin threat in WTC Final
Daniel Vettori believes combination problem will prevent India from picking Ravichandran Ashwin in the Playing 11 for WTC Final.
There will no more over-the-top preparation to take on Ravichandran Ashwin in the Australia camp. After bringing in Mahesh Pithiya to prepare for Ashwin during Border Gavaskar Trophy, Steve Smith & Co are going about their business in a more traditional fashion. There is no special low-bounce turning track to devise a plan for Ashwin. The reason? Pat Cummins-led side does not expect India’s highest wicket-taker in World Test Championship to feature at all in the WTC Final 2023 starting June 7. Instead, they are preparing for Ravindra Jadeja who also wreaked havoc in the Feberuary-March series.
India have a spin dilemma and a final decision will only be made once Rohit Sharma & Rahul Dravid take a look at the pitch. For now, with the weather, past history as well as grass on the pitch, Australia are confident that India will only play one spinner and it will be Jadeja.
India spun a web around Australia, utilising three spinners during the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Ashwin (25 wickets) and Jadeja (22) claimed a total of 47 wickets combined as India claimed a 2-1 series win.
Daniel Vettori, Australia’s spin bowling coach, confirmed to Australian media that the team is unsure whether India will pick veteran Ashwin.
“We have been debating that. I think Jadeja will play because of the batting he brings to the table and how successful he has been at that No.6 position. Then the question will be around that fourth seamer and the all-rounder in (Shardul) Thakur and Ashwin, but they are (both) pretty good choices,” Vettori said.
Despite his rich haul of wickets, Ashwin has only picked 18 wickets in England at an average of 28.11. In the last WTC Final in 2021, he picked 4 wickets in the match but, his defensive bowling did not help India’s cause against New Zealand.
“Ashwin is an incredible bowler and he will be first choice in most teams. Just with their combinations, it may lead to him missing selection,” Vettori said.
Oval Pitch spin friendly for WTC Final?
However, the former Kiwi skipper believes Oval pitch will have a lot of support for spinners even though it sported grass two weeks ago. The grass is expected to be trimmed down and the wicket is likely to be dry.
“We expect The Oval to behave how it always behaves. It is a good wicket, but it can offer a lot to the spinners as the game goes on,” Vettori said.
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