Ashwin’s presence will boost the Indian camp based on his vast experience of playing in England, including featuring for three clubs in county cricket. Ashwin, who is second on the ICC’s Test bowlers rankings as well as third on the allrounders’ list, was part of the Indian squad for the first four Tests of the Pataudi Trophy last year, but did not get to play as the then team management preferred Ravindra Jadeja as the primary spin allrounder.
Ashwin could still be in contention for the rescheduled one-off Test starting at Edgbaston from July 1 in case the conditions support two spinners. Ashwin’s numbers in county cricket, where he has featured for Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire and Surrey are impressive: he has 61 wickets at an average 25.32 and has scored 553 runs at an average of nearly 37.
Meanwhile, the quartet of Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Prasidh Krishna turned up as part of the Leicestershire team. The arrangement to allow the Indians to be part of the hosts’ team was reached to allow all the visiting players to test their match fitness and workloads. The game is the only practice match the Indians are playing ahead of the Test next week.