The renowned cricketer Sunil Gavaskar criticised the Indian think-tank and captain Rohit Sharma for selecting senior bowler Umesh Yadav in the final of the ICC World Test Championship against Australia after Travis Head and Steve Smith gave Australia the lead on the first day of the Ultimate Test.
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In resuming their storied rivalry with Pat Cummins and company in the WTC final at The Oval, Rohit Sharma and Team India made a strong statement by selecting a Ravichandran Ashwin-free lineup for the summit match.
The No. 1 bowler in Test cricket, Ashwin, was the master of destruction when Australia toured India for the prestigious Border-Gavaskar Trophy in the second World T20 Championship. Sourav Ganguly, a renowned cricketer, said India lost a trick by leaving out a match-winner like Ashwin, but Ricky Ponting, a former captain of Australia, thought the Asian giants had made a mistake in the WTC final.
As he reflected on India’s performance on Stumps Day 1, batting icon Gavaskar shared the same criticisms of Rohit and company for failing to include Ashwin in the summit match. Former Indian captain Gavaskar criticised veteran bowler Umesh in an interview with Star Sports for failing to deliver after taking Ashwin’s place in the Indian XI against Australia.
“India made a mistake by choosing not to play Ravi Ashwin. He is bowling’s top-ranked player. You don’t search the pitch for players similar to him. You don’t select the top bowler in Test cricket even though you are playing in the championship game of the World Test Championships. I have no idea why Team India made this choice. In stead of Umesh Yadav, who was inactive and appeared to be out of rhythm, I would have chosen him”, said Gavaskar.
During India’s tour of England, Ashwin was also disregarded by the Indian think tank because the senior all-rounder was absent from all four Test matches against the Three Lions. In Test cricket, Ashwin is the bowler who has had the most success against left-handed batters.