Hussey backs Ashwin to retain Test spot

Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey says that Ravichandran Ashwin should retain his spot as India’s number one spinner.

Hussey opined that should Kuldeep Yadav come into the team, he should do so as a second spinner behind the off-break bowler.

The Chennai Super Kings batting coach feels that Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has provided a blueprint for success against England that Ashwin could follow.

In India for the Tamil Nadu Premier League Hussey said: “Ashwin deserves his place in the team. He has been a brilliant Test match bowler for a long period of time. He has over 300 test wickets.

“Off-spinner Nathan Lyon had an excellent series against England’s left-handers. Ashwin can play a big role against left-handers.

“There is still a plenty of time for Kuldeep as he is young. Let him keep learning along the way, but if there is an injury or an opportunity then am sure he will do a good job for India.”

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Hussey stopped short of calling India favourites for the series but did say that he felt they had a very good chance of coming away with the series win.

He added: “I think they have got a good team. A lot of their players have been in England for a while now. And that’s part of the battle. Getting used to the English conditions, duke ball and and pitches.. all these take time.

“The other advantage for India is the timing of the series which is happening in the latter part of the summer. Pitches generally are a bit flatter and perhaps the spinners might come into play a bit more.

“It might play into the hands of India as well. It’s going to be a good series. If India can make some big scores, that will put some pressure on England.”

Hussey also feels that India skipper Virat Kohli will be determined to prove himself and improve his poor record in England.

He said: “I am sure Virat would have learnt from the experience. It’s going to be important how he starts. Once he gets his confidence, he is hard to stop. It’s just shame he picked up that injury and couldn’t go early to play county. It would have helped him a lot.”