As the team-list of India was released for the first Test against England, the Indian fans were stunned to see the Indian off-spinning talisman axed from the list.
India already had a couple of injury-concerns with Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal sidelined even before the game started. However, Ashwin’s exclusion was particularly surprising.
One of the best Indian off-spinners to have graced the game, Ashwin has found most of his success against the mighty English. He has played in 19 Test matches against England and has claimed 88 wickets at an average of 28.59.
Ashwin’s average gets slightly better when he is playing in England and from the 7 matches he has played, he managed to register 18 scalps.
He is also a decent batter against England with 970 runs at a promising average of 37 plus that also one century and 6 half-centuries.
Batting in England he has also shown decency with the willow, racking up a good average of 23 plus.
Owing to Ashwin’s exclusion, renowned Indian journalist, Sambit Bal opined on this matter and he very rightly pointed out that this move can make life easier for the English batters.
He quoted, “Ashwin out. Is it only because Jadeja is expected to bat better? This might make some of the English batsmen really happy. #ENGvIND”
Ashwin out. Is it only because Jadeja is expected to bat better? This might make some of the English batsmen really happy. #ENGvIND
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) August 4, 2021
Jadeja is undoubtedly a better batsman than Ashwin but India will also have to keep in mind that England’s vulnerability against spin has been pretty palpable and India’s choice to drop Ashwin can be concerning.
While England last toured India, it was Ashwin who almost single-handedly sank the English ship putting up a superior show against the formidable English batting.
At the time of writing, England is batting at 20 for 1 with Jasprit Bumrah striking early as he claimed Rory Burns with an impeccable delivery.