Aakash Chopra (L, PC: YouTube) and Ravichandran Ashwin (R, PC: ICC)

"There was no way they would’ve played Ashwin" - Aakash Chopra defends India's selection after Day 1 of WTC Final

Aakash Chopra has defended Rohit Sharma and India's team selection for the World Test Championship Final. He thinks, "there was no way" they would've played off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin instead of going with four seamers.

India's attack of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur conceded 327/3 on Wednesday. Seeing their struggles, many pundits criticized Ashwin's omission and said his variations and quality against Australia's left-handers would have been useful at the Oval.


Aakash Chopra said considering India's preference to bowl first (probably looking at the green Day 1 pitch), and Jadeja's role in the team for the past two years, Ashwin didn't warrant a place.

"Once India decided to bowl first (in case, India won the toss), there was no way they would’ve played Ashwin," Aakash tweeted. "Four seamers was the right way to go. And Jadeja has got the nod over Ash in almost all overseas Tests in this cycle…so, how and why did you expect anything different this time?"

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, meanwhile opined that India needed Ashwin on this pitch because it might turn significantly on the last two days. Former England captain Michael Vaughan called it a "big mistake" while India's former skipper Sourav Ganguly said he would have kept Ashwin if he was in charge.


"Then bat first" - Aakash Chopra on question of Ashwin being the better choice than Umesh Yadav


In a reply to Chopra's tweet, journalist Anand Vasu questioned whether Ashwin, who sits top of the ICC Test rankings, didn't deserve to be in the team over Umesh Yadav, who conceded 3.9 runs/over on Day 1, just based on quality.

@cricketaakash Four seamers yes, if you had Bumrah and perhaps Ishant of old. But, these four, seriously?
@anandvasu Then bat first…play two spinners. Bowl in the 4th innings. If you’re bowling first, you play 4 seamers…it’s the logical thing to do.
"Then bat first…play two spinners," Aakash replied. "Bowl in the 4th innings. If you’re bowling first, you play 4 seamers…it’s the logical thing to do."

To turn this game around, India will need wickets to fall in heaps on Day 2. Else, Pat Cummins and Co. will take it to a target where a draw will be the best result for the last WTC's runner-ups.

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Edited by
Tejas Rathi
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