India had hoped to take an unassailable lead in the Perth Test and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. But their hopes were dented as the Aussies bounced back in the Perth Test and leveled the series 1-1.
Many had thought that the current No. 1 Test team India would easily win the away series. But the way the Aussies bounced back, they showed how difficult it is to win a Test Down Under.
Australia won the Perth Test by a massive margin of 146 runs. One of the main reasons behind India’s dismal performance was the absence of a frontline spinner.
After bowling for nearly 53 overs in the second innings of the Adelaide Test, Ashwin had developed an abdominal strain. As a result, he was ruled out of the Perth Test.
Ravindra Jadeja was included in the 13-man squad for the Perth Test. But he too didn’t play and Indian management decided to go in with an all-pace attack.
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The decision proved fatal for India. Part-time spinner Hanuma Vihari took two wickets while Nathan Lyon took eight wickets in the game and was named Man of the Match.
Coach Ravi Shastri cited Jadeja’s shoulder injury as the reason for his not playing the Perth Test. In an interview on Sunday, Shastri stated:
When you look at Perth, we felt (Jadeja) was about 70 to 80 percent fit and we didn’t want to risk that in Perth. He still felt stiff in the shoulder when he came here and he was injected again, and it takes time to settle.
According to reports in The Mumbai Mirror, Ashwin has to undergo a fitness test before the third Test. The BCCI has still not given any updates on his recovery. Thus the fitness tests will determine Ashwin’s fate.
In worst case scenario, if both Ashwin and Jadeja doesn’t become fit, India might go with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. But his inclusion would raise some serious doubts because of the way he fared in England.