Ex-cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra has termed the exclusion of premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin from India’s team in the first Test against England as a mistake. If recent performances are considered, Chopra feels Ashwin has done much better compared to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
Going into the first Test, speculations were rife about the possible combination of pacers that India would field. Considering the typical swinging conditions in England, it made sense to go with Mohammad Siraj. However, there was one decision that turned heads. India left out Ashwin in favor of Jadeja which came as a big surprise to plenty.
“Ashwin bowled better than Jadeja in the WTC Final” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra was one of them, and he felt Ashwin was hard done by the team management. He expressed his disappointment on his YouTube channel.
“India played Shardul Thakur as Ishant Sharma was injured. KL Rahul was also chosen as was Ravindra Jadeja. But there was no place for Ravichandran Ashwin which I feel is wrong. India should have played Ashwin,” he said.
In the previous month’s final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC), India lost to New Zealand quite comprehensively. The conditions offered assistance to the seamers and they dominated the proceedings throughout. In such an unfavorable environment, Ashwin was impressive and therefore should have been in the playing XI here, according to Aakash Chopra.
Ashwin Bowled Better Than Jadeja In The WTC Final: Aakash Chopra
“If you look at the Australia tour, Ashwin was really good. Even in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled better than Jadeja. Why would you leave him out? This is the first match of the Test series, you should have played him. Maybe India would not have needed him much but he should have been there in the XI,” Chopra asserted.
Although the decision to play Jadeja was vindicated indirectly because of the Indian pacers doing all the damage, it will be interesting to see whether the track offers spin later on and if India will miss the services of Ashwin.