For reasons which are certainly not cricket, there have been muted rumours over the position of R Ashwin in the Indian Test side. Also, with the growing support for the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav in the side, the slot for the spinner seems to be up for grabs.
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, however, has thrown his support for the ace off-spinner and has made it clear that the player has done enough to merit a selection in the Indian side every single time.
"Ashwin has a place in the side. He will reinvent himself because he feels challenged, he knows Kuldeep is up for his Test spot. You saw the leg spin in the IPL, he will get better and he deserves a lot more opportunities," Ganguly told Cricbuzz.
'You cannot let Ashwin fade away'
Ganguly who never minces his words and puts his point across almost unapologetically said that Ashwin has taken 300 Test wickets and the Indian management should respect his contribution over the past two to three years.
"You can't let Ashwin fade away so quickly, because 300 wickets is not a matter of joke. You saw the leg spin in IPL and he will get better. People must realise that 300 wickets don't come like that, so he deserves a lot more opportunities," the current president of the Cricket Association of Bengal said.
Owing to dry conditions in England and the impact of Kuldeep Yadav in the limited overs format, there have been calls from all quarters to play him in the Test side. Former England spinner Graeme Swann is one such advocate and said that he would pick the young chinaman bowler as the first-choice spinner.
Indian captain Virat Kohli too has kept his cards close and said that anything could happen when the side is picked.
"Anything is possible because we still have a few days to pick the Test side. Yeah, look, he is making a strong case for himself. So is Chahal. Both of them together are pretty lethal for us. Looking at the English batsmen struggling against them we might be tempted to do that," Kohli said after the first ODI in Trent Bridge.
However, it remains to be seen the combination the Indian team plays in the first Test and the spinning options they try for the first Test on August 1.