New Delhi. Team India star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has not got a chance in the four matches he has played in the Test series against England so far. A few days ago, Ashwin shared a picture on social media where he was seen practicing batting. In one picture he was giving a cover drive and in another he was seen dropping the ball. The special thing was that he was practicing with his left hand and the tweet read, ‘The desire to learn something new every day never ends.’
India captain Virat Kohli said in the toss on Thursday that Ashwin, the fourth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, is not among the top five bowlers to play in the Oval Test against England. Rabindra Jadeja, who has taken two wickets in the last three Tests, was included in the squad due to his excellent batting.
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Kohli said, ‘We felt that Jadeja adapted to the situation according to the situation. There is a left-handed player in the team and he is currently balancing the team as a batsman. His argument, however, did not go down well with cricket pundits. Former England captain Michael Vaughan said: “The absence of Ravichandran Ashwin in one of England’s four Tests is one of the biggest ‘no-choice’ decisions we have made. 413 Test wickets and five Test centuries. It’s crazy.”
Mark Waugh, who does not usually make controversial remarks, replied, “I wonder if the Indian camp doesn’t mind.” A former Indian cricketer who listened to Kohli’s decision to keep Ashwin out in the toss said, ‘Did he say that Rabindra Jadeja is better than Ashwin in front of four batsmen? He talks about his fast bowlers.
“Watch Jadeja’s bowling and are you sure you can give him enough runs so he can use the cracks on the pitch on the fourth or fifth day,” he said. Sunil Gavaskar, who backed the extra-batsman field, said he would support the team once it was announced and would not comment until the results came out.
It is difficult to predict with test results. India may win but there has been controversy over Captain Elbo’s thinking. It is his determination for his supporters and his stubbornness for his critics. It is difficult to understand how a bowler who has taken six wickets in a county match can be left on the spinners’ preferred pitch. Besides, Ashwin is by no means a lesser spinner than Jadeja. Middle order batsmen will have to bear the brunt of their failure.
Read more, Ashwin didn’t even get a chance at the Oval, Vaughan said – madness, Tharoor also supported
Jadeja has scored 13 runs so far in the current Test series. He went down to bat at No. 5 in the first innings of the fourth Test and was dismissed after scoring 10 runs. Ajinkya Rahane has scored 95 runs in three Tests. Captain Kohli has not scored a single century in four Tests (including the World Test Championship final) in Britain this season. He scored his last Test century against Bangladesh in November.
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