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According to former South African captain, Shaun Pollock, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can feature for India in their final Group B match against South Africa as Indian spin can pose a threat for the Proteas in a do-or-die encounter on Sunday.
Ashwin already has an impressive record against South Africa. Two years back in 2015, he scalped 31 wickets in the four-Test series against South Africa. Pollock seems confident of seeing Ashwin at The Oval on Sunday.
Pollock spoke to Sport24 regarding India’s improvement in bowling department as he feels that India has to bring in some changes after being beaten up in their previous match against Sri Lanka. “I was quite surprised at just how well Sri Lanka played. It was a really good surface, and the same one will be used on Sunday,” said Pollock.
“I’m sure India will change their side; I think they will bring Ashwin in to create some variation, especially after the way we played against the (Pakistan) spinners. It would make sense for them to get more spin options in,” he added.
Ashwin played his last one-day match against England at Kolkata in January and does not have an impressive average against South Africa in ODIs. He has only been able to grab five wickets in last six matches at an average of 54.20 against the proteas.
South Africa’s loss to Pakistan has opened up the tournament with both teams having an equal chance to qualify for the semifinals, feels Pollock. “Look, at some stage of this tournament you have to face the elimination possibility. So we’re really just facing that (scenario) one game earlier than if we’d got safely into the semis already,” said Pollock.
“But my thinking is also that we haven’t actually fired properly as yet, which is a good thing. In previous tournaments we have sometimes fired up front and then fallen by the wayside later on. This time, we’re in a situation where if we win three games in a row, we’ve won the trophy.
“So I wouldn’t be too worried; there are also a few guys in our ranks who haven’t performed as well as they would have liked and will be keen to get going (on Sunday),” he concluded.