Former England captain Michael Vaughan was quite surprised with the axing of Indian off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, for the fifth and final Test between India and England underway on Friday.
Ashwin, who was also part of the squad that toured England last time around, was left out from the playing XI. In his stead, Shardul Thakur will be playing as the all-rounder while Ravindra Jadeja will be the sole spinner.
The decision stands in line with India’s policy of playing a solitary tweaker abroad and Ashwin has always borne the brunt of it. He didn’t play a single Test out of the four last year and will also miss this one.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 1, 2022
Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah became India’s 36th Test captain when he walked out for the toss alongside Ben Stokes in the morning. Stokes won the toss and put the visitors in to bat first.
Shubman Gill showed flashes of brilliance before James Anderson had him sent back to the pavilion. Cheteshwar Pujara, promoted to the top of the order in the absence of Rohit Sharma, dug in at the crease.
The Dukes ball began moving after the lacquer came off and Anderson got the ball to do the work for him once again. Pujara received a beautiful delivery and his dogged knock came to an end. England’s weather played spoilsport in the rest of the session, forcing umpires to call an early lunch with India at 53/2.
India (Playing XI):
Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah(c)
England (Playing XI):
Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes(c), Sam Billings(w), Matty Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson