Lack of grass on the pitch brings Ashwin into the picture, Kohli says

Leeds, 24 August (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli has left player XI open to change only for off-spinner R Ashwin as team management have found the pitch at Headingley for the third Test without grass. Kohli, however, said he sees no reason to change the playing XI, who won the second Test against England by 151 races at the Lords last week.

“We have no reason to change anything unless people have niggles that we have not encountered since we completed the last test,” Kohli told the media in an interaction Tuesday, the threshold for the third test.

India led the Test series 1-0 after two tests.

“Obviously you do not want to disturb or interrupt a winning combination, especially if the team has achieved such an incredible victory in the second test and is even more excited to take the field again,” Kohli added.

However, Kohli said India are going to name player XI and R Ashwin may get to play because of the pitch. He said the team management selects the twelve and then on Wednesday assesses the course on how it will behave on the third and fourth day before calling Ashwin.

“As for Ashwin, who plays, we are quite surprised to see the pitch as it was. We could see a lot of surface, which I honestly did not expect would be the case. I thought there would be a lot of grass on the field. It gets more spicy and lively. But that will not be the case, “said Kohli.

The four-run Indian pace attack that ran through England’s batting line-up on the fifth day of the second Test may have deterred the host from leaving grass.

“So anything is possible. We always name a 12, and then on the day we have a look at the course and what it can be like day 3 and day 4, and therefore we go in with the right combination, ”added Kohli.

If Ashwin comes in, he can come in for Ravindra Jadeja.


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