India leaves out Ashwin again in a test : “Death wish” says Shashi Tharoor
India has lost the toss and is currently batting on another overcast day at London. However the bigger story from the Oval is again the exclusion of Ravi Ashwin from the XI. The Oval ground has a history of supporting spin in the later stages of the test and India knows it well as the historic win of 1971 came through Chandrasekhar’s 6/38 in the 3rd innings of the match.
India included Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur and excluded Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami due to niggles to the latter. England bowlers have dominated the first session getting 3 top order Indian wickets for 54 runs.
However Ashwin’s exclusion has exploded the twitter. Top cricketers and cricket experts are awe struct at Ashwin’s exclusion.
The most angry tweet came from a politician and a well known cricket buff Shashi Tharoor who minced no words on Ashwin’s exclusion. He said : “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, Ashwin has to be the first or second name. Omitting him & Md Shami at the Oval is like a death-wish — as if you want to lose!” India leaves out Ashwin again in a test : “Death wish” says Shashi Tharoor.
Even a very neutral and well mannered Harsha Bhogle was astounded on Ashwin’s exclusion . He said ” I really hope it works but I am flabbergasted that India have gone in without Ashwin again. “
Cricketers turned experts like Shane Warne , Michael Vaughan , Mark Waugh and others were surprised as well as livid to see Ashwin not included in the XI
Ashwin was the man of the series in India’s last test series vs England at home in February – March 2021. He took 32 wickets in 4 tests and also scored a 100. In recent times he had good successes overseas and even kept a great player of spin like Steve Smith quiet in the Australia series in 2020-21 down under. However surprisingly , the Indian think tank in this series never felt the need to include Ashwin in any of the tests. A skilled bowler like him with over 400 test wickets does not need tailored pitches to excel.
Hence as said earlier , Ashwin’s non inclusion has sparked off a huge debate on twitter.
Few tweets below showing dissent and surprise on the Ashwin saga