Former India batter Aakash Chopra is not convinced with the idea of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowling in tandem in ODIs. Chopra opined that India need wicket-taking bowlers in the middle overs and the Jadeja-Ashwin pair does not fulfill the demand.
The first ODI against Australia in Mohali on Friday was Ashwin’s first match in the ODI format since January 2022. The 37-year-old registered figures of 1/47 in 10 overs. Jadeja, on the other hand, claimed 1/51 from his quota of 10 overs.
While Chopra admitted that both bowlers were economical, he pointed out the area of concern he had over the two spinners bowling together in ODIs.
He said on his YouTube channel [3:45]:
“The spinners bowled economical spells. Ashwin did not start well; he was hit for a few boundaries. But he was playing ODI cricket after a while, so it can get difficult. However, he bounced back strongly and also claimed a wicket. Ravindra Jadeja was also economical, which is a good thing when the pitch is flat."
My only concern is Jadeja and Ashwin bowling in tandem doesn’t work. If it was working, the team wouldn’t have looked in a different direction many years back,” he added.
Both Ashwin and Jadeja got key wickets during the first ODI against Australia in Mohali. While the off-spinner had Marnus Labuschagne stumped for 39, the left-arm spinner dismissed David Warner (52), who miscued a slog sweep.
“You need wickets in the middle overs” - Chopra on Ashwin-Jadeja’s lack of wicket-taking ability
Elaborating further on the problem with Ashwin and Jadeja bowling together in ODIs, Chopra opined that going back to them is like undoing all the hard work they put in to change their mindset and move towards attacking spinners.
“India moved away from the duo since they needed spinners who take wickets in the middle overs. Suddenly, you leave that trajectory and move in a different direction. The purpose of the change is then defeated. You need wickets in the middle overs. Australia were ordinary with the bat, but we need more wickets in the middle overs,” he explained.
Ashwin has claimed 152 wickets in 114 ODIs at an average of 33.58 and an economy rate of 4.93. Jadeja has picked up in 201 scalps in 184 ODIs, averaging 36.99 at an economy of 4.90.
In contrast, Kuldeep Yadav has 150 wickets from 89 matches (average 25.64), while Yuzvendra Chahal has 121 scalps from 72 ODIs (average 27.13).