Considering the predominantly pace-friendly conditions in England, most teams prefer to play with one spinner as a backup to a fast-bowling battery. However, Pragyan Ojha has opined that Ashwin and Jadeja can win matches for the team irrespective of the surface they bowl on.
Speaking to Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha backed the inclusion of both spinners whenever feasible while highlighting their batting prowess. Pragyan Ojha elaborated in this regard:
"Both of them can play. They (India) should play both of them because both can bat, and both have the experience of bowling on any track. The biggest plus point is Jadeja can bat up the order, the way he is performing. Mind you, if you look at his domestic record, he has got three triple hundreds. I think he can bat long, and Ashwin has got international hundreds also. I feel if there's a little chance where you can play both the spinners, you should play. They have enough experience to win you games on any wicket."
Ashwin and Jadeja have been a formidable spin-bowling duo in subcontinent conditions. They also impressed in the Test series Down Under. However, accomodating both players in the playing XI in overseas Tests has been a challenging proposition for the team think tank.
Ashwin and Axar Patel starred for India in the 3-1 Test series win against England at home, with Jadeja missing out due to injury.
The 34-year-old Pragyan Ojha has praised middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari for his decision to play county cricket for Warwickshire ahead of the gruelling England tour. Vihari missed the entire England series at home after pulling his hamstring during his Sydney blockathon.
Speaking about Vihari, Pragyan Ojha said:
"Even I was following Hanuma Vihari. Very thoughtful of him to go and play some county cricket. You know you get used to, you get acclimatised to the conditions. That's very important."
Hanuma Vihari, though, has struggled to cope with English conditions, managing only one fifty in six innings so far for Warwickshire.
India’s long tour of England will begin with the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton from June 18-22. Virat Kohli’s men will then play a five-match Test series against England from August to September.
Meanwhile, India’s limited-overs specialists will tour Sri Lanka for three ODIs and three T20Is in July.