'When Harbhajan was doing well, Sourav got him in and Kumble had to go through this': Ex-India spinner on Ashwin's snub

  • Former spinner Venkatapathy Raju feels India leaving out R Ashwin from the Playing XI for the Nottingham Test wasn't a smart move.
R Ashwin's omission from India's XI for the first Test was surprising to many. (Getty Images)
R Ashwin's omission from India's XI for the first Test was surprising to many. (Getty Images)
Updated on Aug 11, 2021 09:08 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Ravichandran Ashwin's omission form the playing XI of the Nottingham Test became one of the major talking points of the ongoing Test series. India fielded four fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur, and fielded Ravindra Jadeja as the lone spinner.

Several cricket pundits believed that not picking Ashwin wasn’t a great move by the Indian team management and former India cricketer Venkatapathy Raju in one of them.

“Whoever follows cricket, they all have their opinions, right? If someone has taken 400 wickets and he is not getting a chance, there will be questions raised and that has already started to happen. But then, the team management is better to judge, England went in without a spinner and the Indian team went in with four seamers and one spinner,” Raju was quoted as saying by ANI.

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“There is a lot of discussion about it. Jadeja comes in as an all-rounder, whenever you go abroad, that is the problem one spinner faces. When Harbhajan was doing well, Sourav got him in and Kumble also had to go through this. We all feel Ashwin should have been part of the XI, as he is a wicket-taking bowler. Ashwin should have been the first-choice spinner,” he added.

The first Test between India and England ended in a draw after rain washed out the final day of the match. India looked set for victory, needing 157 runs to win on the final day, with nine wickets in hand, but the Nottingham weather didn’t let it happen.

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Captain Virat Kohli disappointed in the first Test as he was dismissed for a golden duck by James Anderson in the first innings. The battle between Anderson and Kohli has, over the years, managed to grab eyeballs and it is still one of the most exciting face-offs of Test cricket.

“It is always the best bowler versus best batsman. In 2014, Kohli got out to Anderson four times. In the next tour, Anderson was not that successful. This is the kind of battle people look forward to, that is the buzz," said Raju.

"Great players always come back, first ball you cannot do anything, but first ball getting out, now the battle has started. People will be waiting to see this battle. In the 90s, the battle was between Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar, that is how it goes, champions always find a way to come back"

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