India’s team selection in the first Test vs West Indies has drawn some criticism from former players and commentators. India decided to field three pace bowlers and one spinner in Ravindra Jadeja for the Test.
While there have been some questions raised as to why Wriddhiman Saha was not fielded and Rishabh Pant selected as the wicketkeeper and why Rohit Sharma was not preferred over Hanuma Vihari, the biggest question seems to be why Ravichandran Ashwin was not picked in the XI. India decided to opt for only one spinner – Ravindra Jadeja – and bench both of Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav.
Sunil Gavaskar said about Ravichandran Ashwin’s exclusion on commentary: “[The selection] astonished me. A man with that kind of record, especially against the West Indies. He doesn’t find a place in this playing XI. That is stunning. Astonishing.”
When we created fantasy leagues for IPL, ICC, & Fandromeda, we spent much time figuring out equivalence between batting & bowling (for the points system). In tests, a 4-wicket haul = century by batsman. Ashwin has 42 four-wicket hauls in 65 tests. That’s Bradman level. @ABVan
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) August 22, 2019
What is going on with Ashwin… clearly a personal difference between him and Kohli?
— Nick Compton (@thecompdog) August 22, 2019
— Lokendra Pratap Sahi (@lpsahi) August 22, 2019
Stranger than Ashwin being benched for this Test?
— Jamie Alter (@alter_jamie) August 22, 2019
R Ashwin in 4 Tests of 2016 tour of West Indies:
With bat – 235 runs, 2 100s, ave 58.75
With ball – 17 wickets, 2 5-fors, ave 23.17
Player of the Series!
Doesn’t get selected in the first Test this time. #WIvInd
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) August 22, 2019
Ashwin-Kuldeep both miss out. I’m surprised. By am I the only one? Only one proper spinner in Jadeja?? India wanted to bowl last…and will still be bowling last. Interesting choice to have Vihari as the second spin option… #WIvIND
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 22, 2019
There must be a universe in which it makes sense that R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma are not part of a first-choice Indian XI that has six batsmen in it – but it’s not this one…
— Saurabh Somani (@saurabh_42) August 22, 2019
Four full time bowlers. Vihari to bowl a few. No Ashwin. Pant ahead of Saha (against long-standing policy of players returning from injury). And… no Rohit.
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) August 22, 2019
In 11 Tests against West Indies, Ashwin has 60 wickets at an average of 21.85, and has also scored four hundreds.