"How can you drop the Number 1 bowler in the world?" - Fans erupt as Team India drops Ravichandran Ashwin from WTC 2023 final
Ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been benched by Team India for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at the Oval in London, beginning Wednesday, June 7.
This came after the Indian think tank included four pacers and a lone spinner, i.e., Ravindra Jadeja, in their bowling unit for the one-off Test.
Speaking at the toss, India captain Rohit Sharma said:
“Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja. It's always tough (to leave Ashwin), he's been a match-winner. But you got to do the things that's needed for the team and eventually, we came up with that decision.”
The development comes even as Ashwin has taken 114 wickets in 22 Tests against Australia. The off-spinner picked up 25 wickets during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year.
In England, the 36-year-old has 18 wickets in seven Tests. In addition, he is also a handy lower-order batter with five Test tons.
Fans on Twitter expressed their disappointment as Ravichandran Ashwin missed out on India's playing XI for WTC final. One tweeted:
"Baffling to say the least. How can you drop the Number 1 bowler in the world regardless of the conditions?"
Here are some of the other best Twitter reactions:
India opt to bowl against Australia in WTC 2023 final
Team India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl against Australia in the WTC final on Wednesday. Shardul Thakur has been included as the fourth seamer, while Ajinkya Rahane made his comeback after a long gap of almost 18 months. Sharma said:
"We are going to bowl. Just the conditions and also the weather being overcast. I don't think the pitch will change too much. You have to play good cricket and come out on top.”
“He (Rahane) brings a lot of experience, he's played 80-odd Test matches and he's done well for the team. He's been out for a while, but I don't think the experience that he has can change all of that.”
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (w), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Srikar Bharat (w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Follow IND vs AUS live score updates here. India have drawn first blood after Mohammed Siraj removed Usman Khawaja with the scorecard reading 2/1.