Why India made a huge mistake by excluding the world’s top Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin from the WTC Finals against Australia
- India boldly chose Ravichandran Ashwin as their 12th man
- Was a prolific wicket-taker against Australia before
- The Australians dominated the first day of the World Test Championship finals
India’s puzzling decision to exclude veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin from their starting XI for the Test World Cup final backfired in spectacular fashion as Australia took control after day one at The Oval in London.
Travis Head captured a Century with just 106 balls and finished unbeaten with 146 stumps with the Aussies in command with 3/327.
Steve Smith isn’t eliminated either at 95, and Pat Cummins’ men are on the verge of an impressive first innings score after losing toss and on a green deck thought to be a fast bowler’s paradise, but not especially good for spinners is to be sent into the punch.
India’s decision to drop veteran crackpot Ravi Ashwin from the starting XI for the Test World Cup final backfired in spectacular fashion against Australia on Matchday 1
Travis Head won a century on just 106 balls and went unbeaten with 146 stumps at The Oval in London
But the blatant omission of 36-year-old Ashwin, who has so often been Australia’s main tormentor, created a lot of conversation.
India’s pace attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, looked tired and it was left to all-rounder Ravi Jadeja to lighten the bowling load.
To make matters worse, the wicket – although difficult to play on early in the competition – soon settled and became predictable, according to former Australian commentator Ricky Ponting.
“All life has vanished from this wicket,” he said in Channel Seven’s coverage.
“It’s always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler like that,” admitted Paras Mhambrey, India’s bowling coach.
“But looking at the (chilly) conditions in the morning, I thought the extra capping machine would definitely be an advantage – and it has worked in the past.”
Australian champions’ batsman Steve Smith also looked threatening and was not out by the end of the game at 95
“If you look at the previous games we’ve played – the last Test game where we started with four sailors which went really well.”
“In retrospect, you can always say that an extra spinner would have been something else.”
Despite Head and Smith’s 251-year partnership, Mhambrey remains adamant the Indians can bounce back and win the Test.
‘Yes why not? “With the second new ball, we saw that the ball got a little seam, it was cut,” he said.
“The next session will be important for us.” “If we take a few wickets quickly then we definitely have a chance to get back into the game.”
Play resumes on Thursday (AEST) from 7:30 p.m.