The fourth Test between England and India is underway at The Oval. England have won the toss and opted to bowl first. Both teams have bought in couple of changes to their playing XI. England have added Chris Woakes and Ollie Pope to their Xi while India have roped in Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur. India have decided to drop Ravichandran Ashwin yet again which has been the topic of debate on Twitter.
The Indian team management has been targeted on Twitter by Indian and particularly Ravichandran Ashwin fans. With four left-handers in the England Xi, Ashwin’s exclusion has been questioned again.
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
Reason Behind India’s Sporting Black Armbands Revealed
In the meantime, the Indian players are playing with black armbands in the memory of the death of former Indian cricketer Vasoo Paranjape.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli addressed Ashwin’s exclusion from the playing XI s during the toss saying it was the team isn’t focused about one particular individual as this is a team sport.
“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” said Kohli.
Meanwhile, this is James Anderson’s 95th Test match at home. He surpasses Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 94 Tests at home which was the previous best. The veteran pacer was about to be rested as per reports but was finally included in the XI.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
England (Playing XI): Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root(c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson