Rohit Sharma having a chat with R Ashwin during Day 1’s play at the WTC final.© Twitter
For World Test Championship final, India left out Ravichandran Ashwin from their side on Wednesday as skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field against Australia at the Oval. Off-spinner Ashwin is the world’s top-ranked Test bowler, but with overcast conditions and a green-tinged pitch promising to assist the quicks, India opted for an attack of four seamers and spin-bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
A similar combination helped India defeat England by 157 runs when they last played a Test at the Oval in 2021, when Ashwin was also omitted.
However, several former players felt differently.
“No @ashwinravi99 for #India is a big mistake .. !! #WTC2023” former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 7, 2023
“See it’s an afterthought. And I don’t believe in afterthoughts. As a captain, you take a decision before the toss and India had decided that they would go in with 4 fast bowlers. Having said that, in the last couple of years they have had success in the last couple of years with 4 pacers. They’ve won Test matches but if you ask me… if I was captaining – and every captain is different – Rohit and I think differently. I would find it very hard to keep a spinner out of Ashwin’s quality out of the XI,” former India captain Sourav Ganguly said on Star sports at the lunch break.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting also gave his take on the issue. “Now that they have won the toss and bowled, they want to do some damage with the new ball. Because as this game goes on, I think it will turn and they would’ve wanted Ashwin to spin the ball away from the Australian left-handers, and he’s not there,” Ponting told Channel 7.
With AFP inputs
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