The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced a 20-man squad for the World Test Champions (WTC) final against New Zealand, which will be played in England starting June 18.After the WTC final, India will also play the five-match Test series against England in the United Kingdom, which is scheduled for August-September 2021.
While the squad looks balanced, one thing that grabbed everyone’s attention was that India named as many as four spinners — R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel — in their squad. Middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari can also bowl off-spin.
Interestingly, the English conditions are more suited for pace bowlers compare to the spinners. And when the former Indian all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi was asked about the same, he had a unique take on Indian team management’s strategy.
Sodhi during an interview with India News reckoned that Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s thought process changed regarding spinners in overseas condition after India’s successful tour of Australia.
The former cricketer even went on to say that Indians selectors now give more weightage to bowlers with batting prowess.
“I feel Virat Kohli’s thinking changed after the Australia tour. The theory that if your bowler can bat has proved effective. If we talk about Washington Sundar and Ashwin’s batting in Australia, I think they were pivotal there,” Sodhi was quoted as saying. He added that these spinners helped in changing the fate of the match, helping India to create history in Australia. He thinks that might be the reason for the selectors to give weightage to the bowlers who can bat and are all-rounders.
Sodhi also insisted that the Indian spinner will excel on the seam and swing friendly wickets of England.
It must also be considered that India is slated to play England in Aug-Sep, when the surface starts to support spinners a bit. Another factor to consider is that the four-month-long tour of the United Kingdom may have forced BCCI to add extra players to their squad in order to manage their workload.