Suryakumar, Ashwin should play fourth Test: Vengsarkar

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By Chetan Sharma

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Following India’s meek surrender in Leeds, former captain Dilip Vengsarkar on Friday said that in-form batsman Suryakumar Yadav and “our best spinner” Ravichandran Ashwin should play in the fourth Test against England, starting September 2.

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England thrashed India by an innings and 76 runs to win the third Test at Headingley on Saturday with more than a day to spare. The victory saw England level the five-match series at 1-1 after India’s 151-run win in the second Test at Lord’s.

“I believe we need to strengthen our batting line-up by including Suryakumar Yadav,” Vengsarkar told IANS. “In the No. 6 position, you need a good strong batsman. He is in great form and will help India in a big way. His skills can match with the best in this Indian team. He should be included before it’s too late.

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“Also, I would want (Ravichandran) Ashwin to be in the team. How can you not give Ashwin a place in playing eleven? He is our best spinner right now in Test cricket. There are things I guess the team needs to sit and discuss before the fourth Test.”

Asked whom he thinks should be dropped from the team, the former captain, who has 6,868 Test runs with 17 hundred to his name, said, “This is up to the team management to decide who they think is not playing well. But I would suggest SKY (Suryakumar) and Ashwin should be in the playing eleven.”

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It’s worth noting that 30-year-old Suryakumar, who plays from Mumbai in Ranji, has a 44-plus average in first-class cricket.

Vengsarkar also praised the English bowlers for their complete dominance in both innings. This included dismissing the Indian batting order for 78 runs in the first innings and then another collapse on the fourth day after India resumed on 215/2 in their second innings.

Ollie Robinson triggered the collapse on Saturday morning with a 5/65 spell while James Anderson ripped through the top order with 3/6 in the first innings on the opening day.

“We need to admit it, they bowled really well. From the first innings to the second, they outplayed us completely,” he added.



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