Former India opener WV Raman has refrained from proposing changes for the fourth test, saying Indian team management can only come to a conclusion after reaching the venue and viewing the oval surface.
After Lord’s highlights, India crashed to an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley as England squared the five-Test series 1-1. WV Raman acknowledged that it will not be easy for the Indian think tank to estimate for possible changes immediately after the loss and added that it will also depend on the surface offered in the Kennington Oval.
“As Virat said, it will be a matter of them going out and seeing what the pitch is like and what they think about the kind of surface that will be given to the test match, and then decide on the eleven. Because even for the team management is very difficult to predict what the playing XI will be immediately after losing a test match and the next test match is in four days and they have not reached the venue yet,” Raman said in response to Sportskeedas ask during an online interaction hosted by Sony.
The Indian cohort is currently en route, traveling by train from Leeds to London. History has it that The Oval helps to spin, as was evident when India last played a Test at the venue in 2018. The spinners took 16 of the 38 wickets to fall, and most notably, part-time off-spinner Hanuma Vihari was good for three of them in the third innings.
While WV Raman agreed that past events would affect the current roster, he reiterated that India would go for their 4-1 seam spin combination if the surface contains moisture.
“Yes, it is taken for granted, in Oval it will be dry as you will see more sun in the southern parts of the UK, especially in London. But if the field hasn’t been used much in the last two years or probably this season, and if some moisture gets into the field, I’m sure they’ll lean more towards the fast bowlers again.
“Yes, it will take into account previous records and the events that happened on a previous tour, but whether that is something that will be repeated now is a big question. Because there is no need for what happened in 2018 to be repeated here,” added Raman, who played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was taken on Sunday for precautionary scans to assess his knee injury, and the chances of veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin playing his first game of the tour have become much higher.
Does the depth of the current Indian squad lead to insecurities among players?
With the current Indian squad being extremely deep, it will be difficult for incumbent players to regain their seats after missing out through injury and seeing their substitutes seize the opportunity with both hands.
The cases of Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal and even Shardul Thakur are classic examples of this reality. While it can lead to insecurities among players, WV Raman stated that the team management didn’t really pick anyone outside of the larger group. He believed that all players would therefore be satisfied with the fact that they could be called up at any time.
“One good thing they have done is that they have not gone outside a group that they have identified as the candidates that can supply the goods in all sizes. We saw that happen in Australia as well, we saw that happen even in the run-up to the England series.
“So the guys will be aware that they will get their chances if and when they can be afforded. That’s why all these guys are raising their hands when they sneak into a pressure situation in Australia,” Raman said. , who was the head coach of the women’s national team from December 2018 to May 2020, on Sportskeedas question.
The Oval Test is scheduled to start on Thursday (September 2), before the two sides travel to Manchester to take part in the final Test of the English summer on September 10.