Will Ravi Ashwin play? Well, the question regarding the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI became a hot topic of discussion. The sensational spinner hasn’t made it to the playing xi so far in the ongoing 5-match Test series. Team India decided not to field their ace spinner for the first three Tests and it worked quite well for them in the first 2 Tests as well.
Ravindra Jadeja was selected ahead of him as a lone spinner in the team which went with four pacers. The 4 pacers have done a decent job so far, however, they were seen struggling to take wickets in the third Test match. For the fourth Test match, Ravichandran Ashwin was expected to fill in for Ravindra Jadeja as there were injury concerns.
But surprisingly, Ashwin was left out once again from the squad. Kohli reasoned that left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is as good an option against 4 left-handers in the English line-up
Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun was asked about Ashwin’s exclusion and if both the spinners can fit into the playing XI at Oval which aids spin bowling. Responding to which, he said:
“Ashwin, no doubt, is one of the best bowlers we have, and its unfortunate that he has not played so far but if there is an opportunity and if we feel that he is going to fit into the scheme of things, they will definitely both be bowling in tandem,”
Meanwhile, people on social media were left disappointed with the decision of Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion from the playing XI. From cricketers, experts to fans, everyone took to Twitter to express their disappointment over the decision and share their opinion.
Here, check out the reactions of Twitterati on this:
I can't believe they left out Ashwin again, on England's most spin-friendly ground. This team is unbelievable. You pick your five best bowlers, @ashwinravi99 has to be the first or second name. Omitting him & @MdShami11 at the Oval is like a death-wish — as if you want to lose!
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 2, 2021
To not play Ashwin even now is just ridiculous. It's almost like they are scared if he does well they'll face a lot of flak for not having played him earlier. Nonsensical really.
— Abijit Ganguly (@AbijitG) September 2, 2021
— Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) September 2, 2021
Kohli when asked about Ashwin: England has four left-handers…..and Jadeja is a good match-up against these batters. pic.twitter.com/3V0AXvARCY
— Manya (@CSKian716) September 2, 2021
In the last three years, Ravichandran Ashwin has 86 Test wickets at 20.62.
In his most recent first-class appearance, he took 6-39 for Surrey in the County Championship at The Oval.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 2, 2021
Still no Ravi Ashwin.. #ENGvIND
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) September 2, 2021
Have always wondered why the horses for courses policy never applies to the batsmen but always seems to apply to Ashwin…
— Ashish Magotra (@clutchplay) September 2, 2021
And I doubt if any other Indian captain or anyone in the world would have benched Ashwin for four-straight Tests when the other spinner is not getting wickets. They would have swapped a batsman and made Ashwin play.
— Venkata Krishna B (@venkatatweets) September 2, 2021
Leave aside Ashwin for a moment, this pace attack with Umesh and Shardul is definitely giving 2014 vibes.
— Mr. Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (@basedIITian) September 2, 2021
— Chandresh Narayanan (@chand2579) September 2, 2021
Dunno man, Shardul isn’t definitely a better bowler than Ashwin at the Oval
— Dweplea (@dweplea) September 2, 2021
Ashwin has played more Tests for an England team than against an England team in this tour.
— Manya (@CSKian716) September 2, 2021
No place for @ashwinravi99 is a shocking decision. Captain may give a logical reason but don't agree with that at all. Team management says that #Ashwin is a world class bowler and then he is not getting a chance is baffling
— Sunandan Lele (@sunandanlele) September 2, 2021
So it seems like R Ashwin will play his next match only after Kohli's 71st hundred? #ENGvIND
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) September 2, 2021
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 2, 2021
Ravichandran Ashwin is still not in the Playing XI as India persist with Jadeja, plus 4 seamers – Bumrah, Siraj, Shardul and Umesh. Don’t yet understand why @ashwinravi99 still can’t make the cut #INDvsEND #Oval
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) September 2, 2021
Impossible to see Ashwin's continued absence as anything other than a huge act of self-sabotage.
India may well win, they are really good after all, but it's just way too clever by half to leave out your 400-wicket, 5 century guy.
— Rory Dollard (@thervd) September 2, 2021
Niggles for Ishant and Shami – still no Ravi Ashwin in the playing 11 for India.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) September 2, 2021
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that I may not agree with @imVkohli & the management's chosen XI, but I admire their courage & conviction.
The media and fans would have been far easier on them if they had picked Ashwin, regardless of the match result.
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) September 2, 2021
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj