Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar was left disappointed by the Indian team’s loss to Australia by 209 points in the ICC World Test Championship final at the London Oval on Sunday June 11.
Tendulkar said the think tank excluding world No. 1 bowler Ravichandran Ashwin surprised him the most. The 50-year-old pointed out that the off-spinner would have been useful as the Australians played five quality southpaws.
Interestingly, lefties Travis head (163) and Alex Carey (66*) were Australia’s top scorers in the single test.
“I can’t understand the exclusion of @ashwinravi99 from the playing XI, who is currently the number one test bowler in the world. As I mentioned before the game, skillful spinners don’t always rely on turn tracks, they use drift through the air and bounce off the surface to mask their variations.”
The legendary hitter continued
“Let’s not forget that Australia had 5 left-handers out of their top 8 hitters.”
Ashwin is the first cricketer to dismiss over 200 left-handers in Test cricket. The 36-year-old was the series co-player in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, where he took 25 wickets in the four Test series. In England, he had picked 18 wickets in seven Tests.
The all-rounder is equally practical as a lower-order hitter with five tons in test cricket. Thus, the decision raised several eyebrows.
On the decision to drop Ashwin from the squad, the India captain Rohit Sharma said before the draw:
“The conditions and also the weather being overcast. The terrain will not change too much. It’s always hard (to leave Ashwin), he was a game-winner.
“India had to beat big in the first innings” – Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar added that India also failed to post a decent score in their first leg which was one of the reasons for their defeat. He wrote on Twitter:
“India had to beat big in the first innings to stay in the game, but they couldn’t.”
After Australia scored 469 in their first set, India responded with 296, courtesy of Ajinkya Rahane’s 89. This put the Aussies into a 173 run lead in the first set.
Rohit Sharma and Co., however, bounced back to put the Australians down to 170/8 in their second set. However, Australia had extended their lead to 444 to gain a slight advantage in the competition. The Indian team was eventually consolidated for 234, which saw them lose back-to-back WTC finals.
Click on here to view the full WTC 2023 Finals scoreboard.