India will play the first Test against New Zealand at Wellington from Friday. India will be choosing only one spinner in the XI as the pitch will favour pace bowling. But a spinner is required to add variety to the bowling attack and to make sure India complete their quota of overs on time.
India have two world-class spinners in R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Which one out of these two spinners India should choose in their XI?
Bowling firepower in overseas conditions
Ashwin is definitely the first-choice spinner at home, but when it comes to overseas, the off-spinner loses a bit of bite due to unhelpful conditions. He also leaks runs and fails to contain the opposition if he is unable to take wickets.
Jadeja may not get that much help as well in the overseas conditions, but he bowls his overs quickly and restricts the flow of runs. He bowls tidy line and length, mounting pressure on the opposition to player risky shots. And it may lead to wickets. Jadeja is pretty deceptive with his bowling.
Virat Kohli puts much confidence in Jadeja as a batsman. Jadeja bats ahead of W Saha and has played some meaningful contributions lower down the order in the recent past in the longer format of the game.
Ashwin has flattered to deceive and has not done justice to his batting talent. He looks like a sitting duck at times.
Jadeja is a far equipped batsman than Ashwin, on all conditions.
Jadeja wins this battle hands down. He can affect those smart run-outs that can open the game and set the match for India. Ashwin, on the other hand, is lethargic on the field and concedes runs with his fielding.
Verdict: Jadeja looks the best bet for India at the moment as he is more in the mould of a spin-all-rounder who is an equally good batsman. Jadeja provides a better package than Ashwin at the moment.