R. Ashwin did not bowl in the nets as India trained at the Oval on Wednesday ahead of the fifth Test. Ashwin, who was troubled by a stiff hip during the third Test in Southampton, was not at his best during the fourth.

He took two wickets in the first innings at the Ageas Bowl, and then on a wearing pitch in the second innings returned figures of 1 for 84 in 37.1 overs.

Ravi Shastri, though, stated that Ashwin had been fit in Southampton. When asked why Moeen Ali, who took nine wickets in the match, had been more effective, India's head coach said: "I think it's straightforward, very simple, very obvious, it was there for everyone to see. Moeen hit those patches more than Ashwin, as simple as that."

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Ashwin had not bowled two days out from the fourth Test either but was subsequently fit to play. On Wednesday, he ran a few laps around the ground and was then engaged in conversation with the bowling coach, Bharath Arun.

Virat Kohli had defended Ashwin's efforts after the fourth Test when asked to compare his performance with that of Moeen Ali. "He tried his best. He bowled a lot of overs. He pitched the ball in the right areas. He didn’t get the results he would have intended but we all go out there to give our best effort.

"This was one occasion where Ashwin could himself feel he could have got more purchase out of the wicket. If you have to single out his (Moeen's) performance, I think he was relentless with the areas that he bowled in and the speeds that he bowled at," the Indian captain had said.

It remains to be seen if India will make changes to the side that played the fourth Test.