Steyn Names Ashwin as Kohli’s ‘Trump Card’ in England Test Series

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn

South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn suggests considering R Ashwin for the upcoming England Test series would benefit India rather than picking other bowlers.

Dale Steyn praises Ashwin

India have the pace quartet of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Umesh Yadav, to go with Shardul Thakur and each of these bowlers have what it takes to succeed in England, where there is plenty of movement on offer.

Ashwin reached the 400 wickets club in the 3rd Test match of India vs England Test series
Ashwin reached the 400 wickets club in the 3rd Test match of India vs England Test series

Steyn believes none of these bowlers can have the kind of impact off-spinner R Ashwin is capable of.

Steyn reckons that Ashwin would be the deal-breaker for India with the ball, even as all the attention remains on their fast bowlers, and here’s why.

“Maybe it’s out-of-the-box thinking here from me, but I think we’re putting a lot of emphasis on the seamers when someone like R Ashwin might be the biggest key for India. As these five Test matches go on, I think spin will be the difference. Ashwin is the kind of bowler that bowls tons and tons of overs,” Steyn said on ESPNCricinfo.

Ashwin doesn’t have the greatest of records in England, or SENA Nations to be particular, but all that is a thing of the past.

India’s premier off-spinner has been difficult to get away with lately as he proved in Australia and more recently in the final of the World Test Championship, where he claimed 2/28 and 2/17.

Ashwin even warmed up for the Test series in style with a five-wicket haul for Surrey against Somerset at the Oval.

“Teams like England and Australia, who are so good at playing seamers and seamer-friendly conditions, don’t tend to play spin particularly well. So Ashwin might be the biggest trump card that India have going forward. And the same thing for England – can they find somebody who can spin out Rishabh Pant? So it might be the fight of who the better spinners are in the series,” Steyn pointed out.

The five-Test series between India and England starting August 4 in Nottingham promises to be an enthralling contest. With India going ahead with one of the best teams in England, many believe this could be their best chance of registering a Test series win in England.

India last won a series in England back in 2007, after which they lost the 2011 series 0-4, 2014 series 1-3, and 2018 series 1-4.