Indian captain Virat Kohli today (November 23) said he cannot commit on playing both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in South Africa Tests.
Kohli-led India will play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is in South Africa in January-February 2018.
On Thursday (November 23), on the eve of the second Test between India and Sri Lanka, Kohli spoke about playing two spinners in overseas conditions. Ashwin-Jadeja spin duo has been highly successful in Indian conditions.
"I can't commit 100% that we will be playing two spinners, to be honest. We need to have a look at the balance of the side as well. However, both Ashwin and Jadeja, with their batting abilities, are both contenders to start a Test match abroad," the 29-year-old told reporters in Nagpur.
"It also depends on what kinds of batsmen we're up against in the opposition. When you're playing on tracks that don't offer much turn and bounce, it is very important to understand if the left-arm spinner is bowling to five right-handers or the off-spinners is bowling to four left-handers.
"Those are very minor factors that you assess before picking the first-spinner in overseas conditions. But that's quite far away," he added.
The skipper said the team counted both Ashwin and Jadeja as all-rounders.
"We count them as all-rounders. They have proved themselves in difficult situations. They are not tail-enders anymore, they are proper all-rounders. Their ranking does justice to that.
"They have really improved their games. It gives us good balance when we play them both," he said.
Both Ashwin and Jadeja, in the recent past, have been ignored for limited-overs format. Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel were preferred over the experienced pair.
India will leave for South Africa in the last week of December after the conclusion of the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka on December 24.