What is the reason behind excluding World No. 1 Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin from playing the most-awaited World Test Championship (WTC) Final on Wednesday (June)? India and Australia are locking horns in the one-off Test at the Kennington Oval in London and the management has left Ashwin for this ultimate Test.
India skipper Rohit Sharma has won the toss and opted to field first. And during the toss, he said Ashwin has been dropped and in his place, an extra seamer is playing. Well on the eve of the WTC Final, Rohit had said they are waiting for the next day to decide whether to play Ashwin or not, the reason being the pitch condition which changes from day to day.
“We are going to bowl. The conditions and also the weather being overcast. The pitch won’t change too much. Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja. It’s also tough (to leave Ashwin), he’s been a match-winner. He (Rahane) brings a lot of experience, he’s played 80-odd Tests,” said Rohit during the toss.
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This is such a surprising move and it left the fans scratching their heads because Ashwin has been in terrific form this year. His exceptional performance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this year took him to the top spot in the Test bowler’s rankings. He bagged 25 wickets, the most in the four-match series which also awarded him the Player of the Series trophy.
India are playing only one spinner who is Ravindra Jadeja. Whether this move to exclude Ashwin will prove effective will be seen later. The English conditions are different than the Indian ones as fast bowlers rule in England. The slow pitches in India help the spinners most and that’s the reason why Australia have found it impossible to win a Test series in India since the 2004 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. At the same time, the unpredictable London weather is another factor.
Gouri Das is a cricket writer at FirstSportz. Despite always being a sporty kid, she disliked being inactive in one place for a long time to watch a match. But after the Ind vs Pak match of the 2016 Asia Cup, she rather got glued to the TV screen. That year she watched the major cricket tournaments, WWE matches, and the Olympics (especially Usain Bolt's races). After reading about the big names in tennis and becoming an ardent follower, she dreams of visiting Wimbledon one day.
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