As India and South Africa battle it out in the ongoing Test at the VDCA Stadium, Indian spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin quietly made a return to the Indian playing 11 after a gap of 10 months. Ashwin, who last played a Test against Australia in December 2018, missed out on a total of five Test matches until he finally made a cut into the ongoing Freedom Trophy between two nations. In his previous Test in Adelaide, Ashwin was instrumental in India’s win as he picked up six wickets in the match and scored a crucial 25 in the first innings. Even though he was part of the initial squad that toured Australia, Ashwin was not selected in the playing 11 for the remaining three matches of that series. The 65-Test veteran was once again selected in the squad when Team India toured the West Indies in August 2019, however, he once again failed to make a cut into the playing 11.
World No 1 side India are currently hosting South Africa for a three-match Test series. The Indian team management finally selected Ashwin into the squad in order to tackle the visitors with a spin-heavy attack. The right-arm off-break bowler straightaway made an impact in his comeback as he picked up two quick wickets in his opening spell. After Team India amassed 502-7d in their first innings, the visitors were left to negotiate 20 overs till stumps on Day 2. Captain Virat Kohli brought Ashwin into the attack in the fourth over of the South African innings. In his third over, Ashwin rattled Aiden Markram’s timber with a magical turn off the pitch. Late in the day, he got another wicket when he induced an edge of Theunis de Bruyn which was safely collected by the keeper. After a strong opening spell in Visakhapatnam, Ashwin will be hoping to continue the same magic for the remainder of the series.