R Ashwin: Australia and India are currently squaring off with each other in the final of the ICC World Test Championship at the Oval, England. The combination of the Indian Cricket Team was the main talking point of Day 1 as the Pat Cummins-led side dominated the proceedings.
India opted with the combination of four pacers and one all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja. To many’s surprise R Ashwin was dropped from the team and it raised many questions as to how they didn’t play the No.1 ranked Test bowler.
R Ashwin’s absence was quite visible on Day 1 on the game as Australian batters Steve Smith and Travis Head made a mockery of the Indian bowling lineup and smashed an unbeaten 251 runs partnership for the fourth wicket to put their team in the winning position.
Many fans and pundits criticised the Indian management for not playing R Ashwin and said that it was a blunder from the team. The Rohit Sharma-led side is quite behind in the game and is under real pressure. If they didn’t bag quick wickets on Day 2 and it’s fair to say the game will be far beyond gone for them.
India’s Bowling coach said that it was difficult for them to drop R Ashwin but conditions didn’t allow them to play two spinners. He highlighted that a combination of four seamers have worked for them in the past. Speaking to reporters, he said:
“It is always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler like him. Looking at the conditions in the morning we thought an additional seamer would be beneficial.
“It has also worked in the past for us. Seamers have done well out here for us. You can always look back and say that additional spinner would have been beneficial but we took the call looking at the conditions.”
ICC WTC Final: “The players also understand the importance of team combination,” says Paras Mhambrey on dropping R Ashwin
Paras Mhambrey also talked about how the selection of a team happens. He revealed that they conveyed to R Ashwin and he also understood the things. He explained:
“When team discussion happens, we talk about composition over a period of days. We trained here for three four days before the game and seeing the wicket, conversations happen with players. The players also understand that (the importance of team combination).”
At stumps on Day 1, Australia were 327/3 with Travis Head and Steve Smith unbeaten on 146 and 95 respectively.