Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has been left stunned with Team India’s decision to not include Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the ongoing first Test against West Indies. Ashwin has now been benched for the fourth consecutive Test. He had also missed the last three in Australia with injury.
India went into the game with just one spinner in the form of Ravindra Jadeja. The way things are panning out for Ashwin at the moment, it would not be very surprising if he falls down the pecking order in Tests too. The star spinner has already lost his place in the T20I and ODI team. With Kuldeep Yadav very much in India’s plans and Jadeja being preferred over Ashwin, the latter’s career is at an interesting juncture.
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Team India’s treatment of Ashwin does look baffling at the moment. What is even more surprising is that the team-management ignored his superb track record against West Indies.
In the 2016 Test series over there, Ashwin picked up 17 wickets in four matches with one game almost washed out. He had picked up a 7-for in the very first Test of that series. He had also scored two centuries to bag the Man of the Series award.
Overall, In 11 Tests against West Indies, Ashwin has taken 60 wickets at 21.85, and has scored four hundreds to give him an average of over 50. Perhaps this is the reason why Sunil Gavaskar could not derive the logic behind the axing of Ashwin. The legendary batsman went on to express his utter surprise over the decision.
“[The selection] astonished me,” Gavaskar said during commentary on Sony. “A man with that kind of record, especially against West Indies. He doesn’t find a place in this playing XI. That is stunning. Astonishing.”
So far in 65 Tests, Ashwin has picked up 342 wickets at 25.43 and scored 2361 runs at 29.14. He is the fastest in the world to both 250 and 300 Test wickets.