Iconic India spinner Harbhajan Singh settled the R Ashwin vs Shardul Thakur debate for the first Test against South Africa in Centurion.
Whenever the Indian team tours a SENA country, debate enrages in the world of social media over whether India should opt for two spinners or four seamers. As there remains a similar debate over the choice between Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur, iconic spinner Harbhajan Singh gave his verdict on the chatter, while sending a reminder of the choice that was made during the World Test Championship final. For Harbhajan, while Shardul got the nod in the WTC final, Ashwin should be preferred for the Boxing Day Test.
“The biggest debate is whether Shardul should play or Ashwin, this topic became a heated discussion during the World Test Championship. The conditions there were different because the ball seams on Day 1 so I feel Shardul was the right choice according to those conditions. There was a lot of grass on the wicket, even though he couldn’t make an impact I feel the decision was right,” Harbhajan said in a video on his YouTube channel.
For the Boxing Day Test, Bhajji feels the nature of the pitch and the weather conditions make Ashwin a better fit for a spot in the playing XI than Shardul.
“But here, I feel the conditions will be hot, the pitch will be hard, the bounce will be there, and you have three pacers, so I think India should go with two spinners. I feel South Africa would love to face pace, so I think you should play to your strength. I feel Ashwin should play, but I don’t see that happening,” Harbhajan added.
“According to me Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal will open. Shubman Gill would come in at number three and the fourth spot will be for Virat Kohli. The fifth and sixth spots belong to Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul respectively. For number seven Ravindra Jadeja but the biggest question comes at number 8 with Ashwin and Shardul available. I feel Ashwin should play at number 8 because you have Jasprit Bumrah for number 9, Siraj for 10 and Prasidh Krishna for 11.”