I would play Ashwin in place of Hardik: Gautam Gambhir ahead of the 1st Test

Gambhir thinks the best attack for India is the one where they field two spinners and three seamers.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian team is approaching the Test series against England and the best part of this numero uno side is that they have plenty of options for all the positions. They have a really good backup opener, three world-class spinners and a pace attack that is termed the best they’ve ever travelled to England with. Among the many decisions, Virat Kohli has to make is on the number of spinners they should field in the first Test.

The ongoing summer in England has been really hot, the hottest in 20 years or so, as a result, the wickets are dry and during the course of a Test match, it is expected to create a huge impact. That’s where the dilemma arises on whether the team should play with one spinner or two. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who has taken up the expert’s role for this tour is of the opinion that they should prefer Ravichandran Ashwin as the allrounder who bats at No.7.


Gambhir wants to play the off-spinner ahead of Hardik Pandya given the way the wickets have behaved and are expected to turnout for the Test series. If they are dry and in any way assist the slower bowlers they will want to have Kuldeep Yadav in the squad as well to exploit the English team’s weakness against quality spin.

Ashwin at 7

“We keep talking about the weather, it is so hot and it’s been like an Indian summer where the wickets are too dry. I will be tempted to pick two spinners. I would play (Ravichandran) Ashwin at 7 in place of Hardik and play Kuldeep (Yadav) and then the three seamers,” Gambhir said while talking on Cricbuzz.

According to the 36-year-old, the best attack for India is the one where they field two spinners and three seamers. “You are literally going with your best five bowlers Ashwin, Kuldeep then you’ve got Shami and Ishant and Bhuvi. This is the best combination going forward,” he added.

At the same time, Gambhir didn’t right off Pandya, he highlighted what the seam-bowling allrounder brings to the table but also mentioned that the team needs to go in with the horses for courses approach.

Hardik Pandya, yes, he can contribute with the bat, he can contribute with the ball as well but I think Ashwin is someone who’s going to give you that edge once the wickets are dry especially in the second innings. It’s not just about first innings it’s about the second innings as well in Test cricket,” Gauti further mentioned.

“Ashwin is someone who’s got an unbelievable Test record so we got to try and play Ashwin and Kuldeep to start off with,” he concluded.

For all the latest cricket news and other updates follow CricTracker.