Rohit Sharma's blunt response to Ravichandran Ashwin snub in WTC Final: 'You got to do things that are needed...'
Ravichandran Ashwin didn't find a place in Team India's XI for the World Test Championship final against Australia.
Team India captain Rohit Sharma opted to bowl against Australia in the World Test Championship final at The Oval on Wednesday, with the side fielding four pacers and a spinner in Ravindra Jadeja. As expected by many former cricketers and fans alike, India left out leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin from the XI due to pitch conditions and prediction of overcast weather in London throughout the five days of the Test.
During the toss, host Nasser Hussain asked Rohit on how tough the call was to leave out ‘world’s no.1 bowler' – Ashwin, with 869 points to his name, is at the top in the ICC Test Rankings – and Rohit admitted that it was a difficult decision for the team management.
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“It's always tough. He's been a match-winner for us, over the course of many years. So, leaving him out was tough. But you got to do the things that are needed for the team. So, eventually we came up with that decision,” Rohit told Hussain.
Rohit further stressed that the conditions prompted the Indian team to go for four pacers and a spinner in their bowling combination. “The conditions and also the weather being overcast. The pitch won't change too much. Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja,” said Rohit further.
India are taking the field with Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, and Shardul Thakur as their four pacers in the lineup. While Ajinkya Rahane also makes a return to the Test XI after more than a year, KS Bharat has retained his place as wicketkeeper in the squad. It was widely speculated that Ishan Kishan could get a nod, given his aggressive approach with the bat; however, the Indian team persisted with Bharat who had also kept throughout the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year.
India are chasing a maiden World Test Championship title, having faced a final defeat to New Zealand in the inaugural edition of the tournament two years ago.
Team India XI: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj