What’s the story?
India captain Virat Kohli confirmed that Ravichandran Ashwin will play in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 semi-final against Bangladesh. Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the semi-final against Bangladesh, Kohli admitted that doesn’t see “any good reason” to change the side that beat South Africa.
When asked about the possibility of Umesh Yadav returning to the line-up courtesy of his performance against Bangladesh in the warm-up match, Kohli said: “See we gave lot of people chances in the practice games. Everyone bowled well in that game (against Bangladesh). So that does not mean that you'll necessarily play someone who has done well against a particular opposition in a practice game.
“I think Ashwin was brilliant in the last game and I don't see any good reason to change that. The team played really well it was a complete performance and I certainly don't think that there is any need to change anything.”
In case you didn’t know...
In the second warm-up match against Bangladesh, India won by 240 runs courtesy of a clinical bowling performance. The wrecker-in-chief in that game was Umesh Yadav, who along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up three wickets and ensured Bangladesh were bowled out for 84.
Although Umesh picked up three wickets against Pakistan, he was wicketless and went for plenty in the loss against Sri Lanka and was promptly replaced by Ashwin, as India turned to the experience of their No.1 spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the virtual quarter-final against South Africa. The off-spinner came up trumps as he finished with figures of 1/43 and provided the control that the side were looking for after the surprising loss against Angelo Mathews’ side.
India take on Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday (June 15) and opposition captain Mashrafe Mortaza has already gone on record saying that his side have exceeded expectations. While expectation in the opposition camp might be low, it will be interesting to see how India fare, especially Ashwin, given the number of left-handers that Bangladesh have in their side.
As the old adage goes, don’t fix something that isn't broke. After an impressive performance against South Africa in a virtual quarter-final, there certainly is no need to change the line-up for the crucial semi-final against Bangladesh. The fact that Bangladesh have a lot of left-handers in the top order and Ashwin has a great record against them only highlights the fact that there is no need for a change, even if Umesh Yadav performed brilliantly against Bangladesh in the warm-up match.