Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin didn't find a place in India's playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC 2023) final against Australia at The Oval on Wednesday, June 7.
The Indian think tank went ahead with four seamers and one spinner for the encounter. Rohit Sharma and Co. chose Ravindra Jadeja over Ashwin as the spin bowling option.
Speaking at the toss, Sharma revealed that Ashwin was left out for tactical reasons, stating:
"It's always tough (to leave Ravichandran Ashwin), he's been a match-winner for us over the course of so many years. But you got to do the things that's needed for the team and eventually we came up with that decision."
It is worth mentioning that with 61 wickets from 13 Tests, Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker for India in the 2021-23 cycle. Jadeja has also been impressive with the ball, bagging 43 scalps in 12 matches.
India won the toss and decided to field first in WTC 2023 final
Team India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to field first at The Oval in the WTC 2023 final against Australia. Explaining the reason behind the decision, here's what he said at the toss:
"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."
The Indian side were off to a wonderful start, as Mohammed Siraj gave them an early breakthrough by dismissing Usman Khawaja for a duck in the fourth over.
Here are the playing XIs for the WTC 2023 final:
India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland