Why Ravindra Jadeja and not Ashwin? Virat Kohli answers

The team management preferred slow left-arm bowler Ravindra Jadeja to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin despite the latter’s good record against West Indies.

Ravindra Jadeja (left) and Virat Kohli celebrate the wicket of Jason Holder in the second Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Monday.   -  AP

 

India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin did not feature in the two Tests against West Indies as Virat Kohli and Co. completed a 2-0 series sweep.

The team management preferred slow left-arm bowler Ravindra Jadeja to Ashwin despite the latter’s good record against West Indies.

Ashwin has 60 wickets in 11 Tests against West Indies. He was also the man of the series with 17 wickets and 350 runs in India’s 2016-17 tour of the Caribbean.

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After the series victory, Kohli justified the selection of Jadeja.

“With Jadeja, we can bank on control. He is the most consistent and accurate bowler in away games. There is a reason why he is constantly playing in the XI. Even if the wicket is not supporting, he gives you control. As a batsman, when the bowler is pitching the ball in areas where you can get out constantly even if it is not turning so much, he is always in the game and that’s his USP,” he told reporters.

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Jadeja picked up only six wickets in four innings but he kept the proceedings tight.

Jadeja in two Tests in West Indies

Antigua: 58 & 2/64, 1* & 0/42

Jamaica: 16, 1/19 and 3/58

 

Batting at No 8, the southpaw scored a valuable 58 in the first innings of the Antigua Test.

“With the bat, ball and field – there is nobody better than him in the world. He is in a great zone right now and willing to contribute for the team. And he wants the ball, he wants to do the job,” Kohli reasoned.