"It is like keeping your Ferrari parked in the garage" - Jatin Paranjape questions Ravichandran Ashwin's omission from Edgbaston Test

India went with Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin as the lone spinner in Birmingham.
India went with Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin as the lone spinner in Birmingham.
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Ankush Das

Former Indian cricketer Jatin Paranjape feels veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should have been picked for the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Indian bowlers looked clueless in the fourth innings as the hosts chased down a record target of 378 runs, riding unbeaten centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. The pacers failed to create any pressure, while sole spinner Ravindra Jadeja didn't look threatening in the 18.4 overs he bowled.

Paranjape feels the Men in Blue missed a trick by not playing two spinners at Edgbaston, which is known to assist spinners.

A change of captain,a change of coach and a change of mentality - what a difference it makes,3 unbelievable chases and this one tops it all. Perhaps one of the greatest wins ever by England,from India’s perspective,not sure why Ashwin wasn’t playing though. #engvind

Speaking to senior sports journalist Jamie Alter, the former selector said:

"I can understand why they played Shardul, because he had done well in the Test match at The Oval where he could have been the Man of the Match. But here you had R Ashwin in the squad. It is like keeping your Ferrari parked in the garage."

He added:

"The color of the wicket was not your usual English wicket and Edgbaston is known to turn a little bit, so I thought India could have gone with two spinners. It gives you a little more control on the game if nothing is happening.
"Also, when you have three seamers and then you play a fourth one, someone gets under-bowled. You cannot use all four; it just doesn't come into play. But then hindsight is 20-20 vision."

Incidentally, Ashwin did not played a single Test in the five-match series, four of which took place last year. The management has favored Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the off-spinner given his reputation with the bat.

"We felt that there was enough in it for the fast bowlers" - Rahul Dravid on leaving out Ravichandran Ashwin

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has defended their strategy of playing four seamers, saying there was enough in the wicket for the fast bowlers when they looked at it on the first morning of the Test match.

Addressing reporters after the game, Dravid said:

"It's not easy to leave someone like Ash out in a Test match but when we looked at the wicket on the first day, it had a pretty even covering of grass, and we felt that there was enough in it for the fast bowlers."

He added:

"Also, if you see, the wicket hasn't spun much either for Jack Leach or Ravi Jadeja, who bowled through the match. Weather also played a part as for the first three days, there weren't long phases of sunshine. Probably, it didn't spin as much as we expected it to."
Dravid opens up on Ashwin's absence in the playing xi and the lack of use of Shardul Thakur in the game...#ENGvIND #INDvENG #IndianCricketTeam #RahulDravid #PostMatchPC #EnglandCricket

Meanwhile, Ashwin has not been considered for the limited-overs leg against England. He is expected to assume duties when India tour Bangladesh for two Tests later this year.

Edited by Puranjay Dixit
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