Sunil Gavaskar Slammed Rohit Sharma And Rahul Dravid: It has been two days since India’s humiliating defeat against Australia at the high-voltage World Test Championship Final 2023, however, many are still recovering from the heartbreak of not winning an ICC trophy. Several debates have been going on regarding many decisions taken during the WTC Final – from Rohit opting to bowl first to Ashwin, the No.1-ranked Test bowler, sitting out.
Ashwin’s ouster from the playing XI became one of the most talked about topics from the must-win tournament. Ashwin, who is ranked no.1 bowler in Tests, has over 470 Test wickets. He is easily the best spinner in the world, thus, the decision to make his sit during the must-crucial game raised several eyebrows. Even the greatest Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged it.
Sunil Gavaskar Slammed Rohit Sharma And Rahul Dravid
As the debate continues to grow, the legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar has called out the team management alongwith captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid. Not just them, but he has also slammed their predecessors Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri as well.
In his column for Mid-Day, Gavaskar wrote:
“India dropped Ravichandran Ashwin, the No. 1 ranked bowler in the game, according to the ICC rankings. The Australians had five left-handers in the team and while one leftie – Travis Head – scored a quickfire century in the first innings, another southpaw Alex Carey got a 48 in the first innings and an unbeaten 66 in the second. During that second innings effort, he also put on 93 runs with another left-hander Mitchell Starc at a time when India were looking to dismiss Australia cheaply in the second innings,”
“If Ashwin had been in the team, who knows what could have happened. With the bat too, he could have contributed. No other top-class Indian cricketer in the modern era has been treated as bafflingly as Ashwin has been. Tell me if there was a No. 1 ICC-ranked batter in the team, would he have been left out of the playing XI just because in earlier times he had not got runs on a grassy pitch or if he had not scored runs on a dry spin-friendly pitch? Definitely not.”
For the unversed, we should tell you that this wasn’t the first instance when the team management decided to drop Ashwin from the playing XI in England. In fact, this was the ‘sixth’ incident that this has happened.
Ashwin Was Dropped From The Playing XI Against England For The 6th Time
Previously, during India’s 5-match Test series of the United Kingdom in 2021, Ashwin was dropped from all the five games that took place at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Headingley, The Oval, and the rescheduled series decider at Edgbaston in Birmingham the year later. Interestingly, Ashwin doesn’t have a bad record in this country he is receiving treatment like this. He has picked 18 wickets from 7 Tests in England.
Highlighting Ashwin’s record and explaining his point further, Gavaskar said:
“In Ashwin’s case, despite being the No.1 bowler, he is not always the first spinner to be brought on. Oh yes, there are reasons given that there were right-handers at the crease, so a left-handed spinner was given the ball or the wind was blowing in a certain direction or the bowler’s follow through footmarks were for the left-handed spinner, etc as if Ashwin has only left-handed batters as his wickets,”
Sunil Gavaskar added:
“This is not being wise after the event, but a pattern that has been seen over the years. But for this ‘hard to understand thinking’ he would have already played more than 100 Test matches. The pitch on the fourth day eased out considerably and with the two most experienced batters in the team together, it could have been a gripping finish to the Ultimate Test match. Even if India were to win, it should not blind us to the treatment given to Ashwin and whatever the explanation that is given, the bowling results in the match where India have been asked to chase 444 tells us that dropping him was not the right call to make.”