New Delhi. The last match of the five-Test series between India and England will be played in Manchester from today. The biggest question is whether captain Virat Kohli will give a chance to legendary spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (R Ashwin) in the last Test match. In the first four Test matches of the series, Ashwin has to sit on the bench and Ravindra Jadeja has played in his place. Ashwin is currently in the news as he has returned to the T20 team after four years. This spinner has been included in Team India for the T20 World Cup.
Only Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashwin and Jadeja have the experience of playing Test matches in Manchester. India last played a Test match at this ground in 2014, in which England defeated Team India by an innings and 54 runs. India’s first innings was reduced to just 152 runs. Six Indian batsmen including Murali Vijay, Kohli, Jadeja and Pujara also failed to open the account. India had lost four wickets on the score of just 8 runs, then Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ashwin made the team cross the 100 mark. Dhoni scored 71 runs while Ashwin scored 40 runs in 42 balls.
England scored 367 runs thanks to half-centuries from Joe Root (77) and Ian Bell (58). For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron took three wickets each, Pankaj Singh took two while Jadeja took one wicket. The Indian batting collapsed like a pack of cards in the second innings. India’s six wickets fell for just 66 runs. Once again Dhoni and Ashwin became India’s troubleshooters. Dhoni scored 27 runs while Ashwin scored an unbeaten 46 off 56 balls. India’s second innings was bundled out for 161 runs. In this match, Dhoni scored 98 while Ashwin scored 86 runs in both the innings.
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Kohli’s decision to prefer Jadeja over Ashwin in this Test series has proved to be not entirely but partially correct. By the way, after the kind of brilliant performance by Shardul Thakur with the bat, Jadeja is no longer needed as a bowler all-rounder, so Ashwin can get a chance. Anyway, Ashwin’s batting record at this ground is tremendous and he also has 5 centuries in Test cricket to his name.
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