New Delhi [India] : Former India opener Aakash Chopra lashed out at off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for not being creative enough on the batting-friendly pitches as he has produced disappointing performances in the first two Tests against England.
Ashwin has picked nine wickets in two Tests at an average of 36.33. He has not managed to get a four-wicket or a five-wicket haul in the series so far. He has been outperformed as a spinner by England's Tom Hartley, who has 14 wickets at an average of 24.57, including a seven-wicket haul in the first test.
The 46-year-old said that if the opposition attacks the bowler on the flat pitches then the bowler should have to be imaginative.
"I am with you, actually. If you play too much cricket on extreme spin-friendly pitches continuously, when you go to flat pitches and the opposing team suddenly comes with an aggressive mindset, you have to be more imaginative, which you expect," Chopra asserted while talking on his YouTube channel.
The cricketer-turned-commentator further stated that as Ashwin is on the verge of touching the 500 mark so he has to understand how to bowl on flat pitches.
"Ashwin is standing on the verge of 500 wickets. So you expect that he will understand and manage all these things. However, the truth is that the Ravi of Ravichandran Ashwin hasn't risen in the series thus far. That's probably a combination of being used to mostly playing on turning pitches and Bazball," the right-hand batter added.
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced the squad for the remaining three Tests of the five-match series against England, with star batter Virat Kohli set to miss the remaining matches as well due to personal reasons. Virat had earlier missed the first two Tests. Now, his absence is extended to three more games. His last appearance came in the T20I series against Afghanistan earlier in January.
Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar are part of the series. The participation of batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is subject to their fitness, said BCCI.
Mohammed Shami, who had missed the first two Tests due to injury, continues to sit out. Pacer Akash Deep has also been included in the squad.
The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot while the fourth Test kickstarts in Ranchi on February 23 while the fifth and final Test of the series will be played in Dharamsala from March 7. The series is currently level 1-1. After a 28-run loss in the first Hyderabad Test, India won the second Test at Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.