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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

India vs West Indies: ‘It astonished me’ - Sunil Gavaskar reacts to India’s team selection in Antigua

Ravichandran Ashwin has played in 11 matches and has picked up 60 wickets at an average of 21.85 and with a strike rate of 46.2.

cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2019 08:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A file photo of former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.
A file photo of former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.(Getty Images)

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar was not pleased with India’s team selection during their first Test encounter against West Indies on Thursday and the legend expressed his disappointment at veteran spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin missing the cut despite his brilliant record in the Carribean. “[The selection] astonished me,” Gavaskar said during commentary. “A man with that kind of record, especially against West Indies. He doesn’t find a place in this playing XI. That is stunning. Astonishing.”

Also Read: Why was Ashwin not picked in the team? Rahane gives clear answer

Against West Indies, Ashwin has played in 11 matches and has picked up 60 wickets at an average of 21.85 and with a strike rate of 46.2. The last series India played in West Indies was back in 2016, he claimed 17 wickets and was the Man of the Series. Back then, he had raced away to 350 runs.

READ: Virat Kohli & Co register unwanted record against West Indies in Antigua 

However, India decided to go with three pace options - Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma - with Ravindra Jadeja playing as the only spin option.

There was also no place in the final 11 for Rohit Sharma with Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari preferred in the middle-order of a batting line-up where captain Virat Kohli has been the star performer so far in this campaign.

In a surprise move, West Indies omitted first-choice wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich and gave a debut to 30-year-old middle-order batsman Shamarh Brooks. Shai Hope will do duties behind the stumps for the match.

Also Read: Rahane’s half-century anchors India revival in first Test

Earlier, West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and put India in to bat. The visitors were off to a disappointing start as they lost their first three wickets quite early with Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli all getting dismissed in the first hour of the match.

This was the first time after 16 innings that India lost their first two wickets for single digit. The last time this happened was way back in 28 June 2011 when Abhinav Mukund and Rahul Dravid were dismissed for 8 at Bridgetown.

West Indies -- Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope (wicketkeeper), Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Shamarh Brooks, Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel

India -- Virat Kohli (captain), K.L. Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 22, 2019 21:54 IST