Though India won the historic second test at Lord’s, the cricket fraternity criticized the team selection. According to experts and fans, India should have included their ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in place of injured Shardul Thakur.
Shardul Thakur suffered a hamstring injury days before the Lord’s test. Hence, speculation began emerging that India will include Ashwin in place of him. However, Indian Skipper Virat Kohli said that they were comfortable with the strategy of playing four pacers in England.
Therefore, Indian management backed this strategy and selected veteran pacer Ishant Sharma ahead of R Ashwin. As Jadeja provides stability by batting in the lower middle order, Indian team is backing him as the front line spinner. Hence, Ashwin missed an opportunity to play at the Mecca of cricket.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman said he could not understand the reasons behind India not picking Ashwin for the second Test in a row against England. Laxman said it is difficult to understand how Ashwin from being the first-choice spinner in the WTC final last month, is not good enough to make the XI now.
Idea of playing Ravichandran Ashwin was dropped after it rained on the first day
The veteran off spinner has revealed the reason behind his exclusion in his YouTube show ‘Kutti Story’ with Indian fielding coach R Sridhar.
Ashwin asserted that he was likely to play in the Lord’s Test. The weather seemed warm and the conditions also appeared to be a bit drier ahead of the start of the game. However after it rained in the morning, the Indian team had to again go with their ploy of playing four pacers.
“The funny thing was, before the match, they were like, ‘There’s a heatwave. You please be ready mate. You might play.’ Upon coming to breakfast in the morning, rains started lashing out. I asked, ‘Won’t you tell about heatwave after it came? Why gave me hope only for it to end in disappointment!’,” Ashwin said.
Ravichandran Ashwin is a key member in the Indian side. Currently, he is the no.2 ranked bowler in tests according to ICC rankings. He was exceptional in the series down under and even outperformed his counterpart Nathan Lyon on his home turf. Ashwin was also outstanding in the series against England at home early this year. He was adjudged the Man of the Series after picking up 32 wickets and scoring a century. Now it is to be seen whether Ashwin will get any opportunity to play in the rest of the series given that all the pacers are performing well.
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