Team India have once again overlooked Ravichandran Ashwin for the fourth Test against England at the Oval, starting September 2. The visitors have made two changes to the playing XI, bringing in Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in place of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
Meanwhile, a lot was spoken over Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the playing XI leading up to the Oval Test. However, skipper Virat Kohli and the management have stuck to their much-debated ‘template’ once again despite a track record of Oval assisting the spinners as the game progresses.
While there has been a lot of talks about Ravichandran Ashwin’s performance in overseas conditions, but the veteran spinner has done enough to silence the critics. In the last three years, Ashwin has 18 wickets from four Tests in Australia, 15 scalps from five matches in England, seven from two in South Africa and three wickets in one game in New Zealand. Only in New Zealand, bowling on a green-top did his average go past 30.
Meanwhile, the fans were seemingly disappointed with Ravichandran Ashwin warming the benches once again. On that note, let’s take a look some of the tweets over Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion.
Like this Indian XI sans Ashwin.#ENGvIND
— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) September 2, 2021
Ashwin excluded again … Surprising
— Mikkhail Vaswani (@MikkhailVaswani) September 2, 2021
This is stubbornness, nothing else.
— Sarah Waris (@swaris16) September 2, 2021
Two changes for India but Aswhin still doesn't make it to the XI in the most spin-friendly surface in England #IndvsEng
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) September 2, 2021
— Vimal Kumar/विमल कुमार (@Vimalwa) September 2, 2021
Hey anyone organizing any protests? I’m up to join #JusticeForAshwin
— Sonali (@samtanisonali1) September 2, 2021
Ravichandran Ashwin is still not in the Playing XI as India persist with Jadeja, plus 4 seamers – Bumrah, Siraj, Shardul and Umesh. Don’t yet understand why @ashwinravi99 still can’t make the cut #INDvsEND #Oval
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) September 2, 2021
— Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) September 2, 2021
5 100s in Test cricket.
4 Test in UK and when he has picked 43 wickets in his last 12 matches, he's not been picked in the playing XI!
Madness imo to not play Ash Anna. 🥺
— Keshav (@keshavcric) September 2, 2021
No place for @ashwinravi99 is a shocking decision. Captain may give a logical reason but don't agree with that at all. Team management says that #Ashwin is a world class bowler and then he is not getting a chance is baffling
— Sunandan Lele (@sunandanlele) September 2, 2021
I can't believe they left out Ashwin again, on England's most spin-friendly ground. This team is unbelievable. You pick your five best bowlers, @ashwinravi99 has to be the first or second name. Omitting him & @MdShami11 at the Oval is like a death-wish — as if you want to lose!
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 2, 2021
“For us it’s about partnerships, we don’t focus too much on individuals” – Virat Kohli
Speaking at the toss, Virat Kohli stressed about the set template and that they don’t focus on individual cricketers. When asked about Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion, Kohli said:
“For us, it’s about partnerships, we can’t focus too much on individuals. The opening partnerships have been good, it’s about getting more partnerships. We got a few days left on this tour, the series is poised nicely and there is going to be no shortage of effort from our side.”
Meanwhile, speaking about the toss, England captain Joe Root has won the toss and asked India to bat first on overhead conditions.