In the ongoing first Test between England and India, Virat Kohli’s decision to drop Ravichandran Ashwin from India’s playing XI took everyone by surprise. Fans and experts were expecting India to include the Tamil Nadu cricketer, but the Indian captain went with Ravindra Jadeja as the lone spinner alongside four seam bowlers.
Not so long ago, Ashwin finished the first cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) as the leading wicket-taker. Further, the off-spinner also had a decent outing for Surrey in a County Championship game right before the start of the series. Despite all this, when Ashwin wasn’t picked in the final XI, several ex-cricketers expressed their disappointment.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer was left in disbelief as he tweeted an image of Nasser Hussain in the commentary box with the caption: “No Ashwin?!”
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 4, 2021
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was also taken aback by India’s decision of not including Ashwin.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 4, 2021
Former India batsman VVS Laxman wasn’t impressed with Team India’s tactics of dropping Ashwin. Laxman reckoned that Ashwin is a sure-shot match-winner, and to include a player like him was completely not understandable.
“For me, if you’re picking a bowler who is going to bat at No. 8, I would go for a bowler who could give match-winning performances with the ball and for me, that would be R Ashwin. So, I would have gone with the balance that India had in the WTC final,” Laxman told ESPNCricinfo.
“In the past, I played in a team where you had four fast bowlers, and invariably one of the fast bowlers was under bowled. So, I don’t know why Virat Kohli and the team management went with this decision,” added Laxman.