London. Australia batsmen Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting have slammed India’s decision not to include star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Ashwin, the number one bowler in Test cricket and the highest wicket-taker in the WTC’s 2021-23 cycle, was dropped by India for the final against Australia at The Oval and opted to go with four fast bowlers instead.
After the first day’s play ended, Hayden gave the ICC said, “I believe Ravichandran Ashwin is an important player.” He is the highest wicket-taker in this cycle of WTC but is not in the squad. This decision is worth considering in India’s perspective.
Ravindra Jadeja is the only spinner in the Indian XI in Ashwin’s absence but he went wicketless on the first day. An unbreakable 251-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Travis Head (146 not out) and Steve Smith (95 not out) helped Australia post 327 for three on day one. World Cup-winning captain Ponting opted to drop Ashwin. . An error has been reported.
“So far, it looks like going with four fast bowlers was a mistake, but let’s see what happens as the game progresses,” he said.
“There is no doubt that the pitch will change as the game progresses,” Ponting said. There are many left-handed batsmen in the Australian team, against whom Ashwin will prove to be a better bowler. Ashwin has been very successful against left-handed batsmen in Test cricket.