Ajinkya Rahane has stated that the off-spinner is going to play a crucial role for the visitors in the upcoming Test series. Ashwin has been a vital part of the Indian team in red-ball cricket, especially in-home conditions. The Tamil Nadu born is one of the three spinners that the management has selected for the upcoming Test series.
However, considering away from home matches, Ravindra Jadeja has been India's first-choice spinner of late. Jadeja can score crucial runs down the order, and he is equally good with the ball as well. His consistency has kept Ashwin out of India's playing XI in overseas conditions.
Moreover, Ashwin's numbers aren't that encouraging either. He has grabbed just 27 wickets from seven Tests he played in Australia. The spinner has not grabbed even a single five-wicket haul so far.
As Jadeja is in doubt to play the first Test due to a hamstring injury and concussion blow, Rahane feels Ashwin's experience will be of great importance to the visitors.
The vice-captain also believes that Ashwin will not only be crucial as a spinner but also with the bat as well. Ashwin has scored four Test centuries to date, and it is no mean feat.
Ajinkya Rahane opines on India's opening combination for the first Test
Mayank Agarwal is going to be a confirmed opening starter for the Men in Blue in the first Test at the top of the order. However, the comeback of Rohit Sharma in the last two matches will again create confusion. It will be interesting to see who partners Agarwal after the return of Sharma.
Rahane viewed that the side has many equally talented players such as Shaw, Gill, who can be Agarwal's opening partner. However, he also disclosed that there is a discussion going on within the team management to decide the side's final opening combination.
The vice-captain also conceded that pacer Ishant Sharma's absence is going to be a big miss for the team. He further added how the pink ball will pace off the pitch during the 40-50 minutes at dusk. This is going to be a significant difficulty for any batsman.
The first Pink ball encounter between India and Australia will be played at Adelaide from December 17. It is going to be a Day-Night showdown. Rahane very well understands the importance of starting the Test series on a good note, as the Kangaroos will be a tough side to beat in their shack.