A couple of days back, Ravichandran Ashwin posted pictures on social media in which he was seen doing shadow batting. In one, he was playing the cover drive and in the other, he could be seen practising leaving the deliveries. Nothing was out of place only that he was practising left-handed and the accompanying tweet read “The desire to ignite something different everyday never burns out.” It was perhaps his way of telling the world that may be “left” would have been the “right choice”.
As many expected Ashwin to figure in the Indian line- up at Oval for the fourth Test, Indian skipper Virat Kohli stumped all and once again announced at the toss that India’s fourth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket would not be among the five best bowlers who would be playing the Oval Test against England. Ravindra Jadeja, with two wickets from last three Tests, was persisted with for his left-handed willow wielding.
“It’s something that we thought is a good match-up for Jadeja as well, because mostly all our seamers bowl over the wicket. It’s a nice little spot for the left-handers as well. “I think according to the match-ups, it fits perfectly for our team – plus the balance he is giving us with the bat as well currently,” explained Kohli .
But were observers of the game convinced? “The non selection of ashwinravi99 has to be greatest NON selection we have ever witnessed across 4 Tests in the UK !!! 413 Test wickets & 5 Test 100s !!!! Madness,” former England captain Michael Vaughan was aghast on twitter.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 2, 2021
One can discount Vaughan, whose comments on Indian cricket can be way off the mark, but even the normally reticent and elegant Mark Waugh was sharp in his tweet.
Enthralling first session of test match cricket between India and England on @FoxCricket. Can’t help but thinking India have got there selections wrong. Surely Ashwin must play instead of Sharma with 5 lefties in England’s side.
— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) August 25, 2021