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'This Is The Actual Story Of The Movie': Former Chief Selector Passes Verdict on Jadeja or Ashwin Dilemma for WTC Final

image-lifhl9kiR Ashwin (L) and Ravindra Jadeja | Source: Twitter 

Former chief selector MSK Prasad believes that Team India should go ahead with the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin when the Asian Giants face Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final in London from June 7.  

Notably, in the WTC 2021 match against New Zealand at Southampton, India made the bold decision to field two spinners. However, this ‘tactical move’ proved disastrous as the pacers dominated the proceedings in the overcast conditions in England. 

In the 2021-22 series held in England, Ashwin remained benched throughout the five Tests, which ended in a 2-2 draw but the off-spinner has 18 wickets in 7 matches in England at an average of 28. 

Here’s what MSK Prasad told PTI news agency: 

"We went with two spinners and three fast bowlers in mind but subsequently there was rain [WTC final 2021], we should have changed our plans, but somehow we stuck to the same playing eleven. But that is in the past."

While discussing the expected playing XI for the WTC final, MSK Prasad has highlighted the possibility of fielding both spinners in the lineup. He specifically suggested that Jadeja could play as a specialist batter, while Ashwin could contribute as an all-rounder, given his exceptional track record of picking wickets at any surface. 

Furthermore, Prasad has made it clear that the possibility of playing two spinners in the playing XI will be completely reliant on the conditions at The Oval will offer. 

"It all depends on conditions at The Oval. This is the actual story of the movie, the pitch and conditions. We don't know how they will be over five days, so we should not pre-fix our mind and understand the conditions and back your instincts."

Jadeja was the linchpin for the team India, making significant contributions with both the bat and ball during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2023, which the hosts ultimately retained. 

His exceptional contributions with both bat and ball earned him the Man of the Match awards in the first two Tests. R Ashwin, meanwhile finished as the highest wicket-taker in that series, picking up 25 wickets while equally contributing with the bat. 

As of now, the India management faces a 'sweet dilemma' with two in-form all-rounders and their astute knowledge of Australia's vulnerabilities. The management's choice to field both spinners will undoubtedly add an extra layer of excitement heading into the marquee event.