India bowling coach defends decision to drop Ravi Ashwin from WTC final playing XI after Australia pile 327 runs on Day 1
Indian bowling coach Paras Mhambrey defended the decision to drop Ravi Ashwin in the WTC Final.
Team India’s decision to drop Ravi Ashwin did not work as they had a forgettable outing on Day 1 of the World Test Championship Final 2023.
After the end of day 1, the Australia team are in an excellent position, thanks to the Steve Smith-Travis Head partnership which had put them in the driving seat. The score currently reads 327/3 after 85 overs at stumps.
The team’s decision to drop experienced Ravi Ashwin has been criticized by both fans and experts. The various cricketing pundits including Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Sunil Gavaskar expressed their disappointment in excluding the veteran who has grabbed 474 Test wickets.
They also called the decision as bold as the Indian all-rounder has an excellent record against the left-handers and Australian XI had four left-handers in the top seven.
However, India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey has defended the team management’s decision to drop the all-rounder.
The bowling coach attended the press conference today and he spoke about Ravi Ashwin’s exclusion.
Mhambrey backed the management by saying that the Indian team featured the best playing XI based on the conditions offered by the venue. He also said that dropping a player like Ravi Ashwin is always a challenging call.
“See, it’s always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler like that. But I thought looking at the conditions in the morning, I thought having the additional seamer would definitely be beneficial. And it also has worked in the past. If you look at the earlier games that we played, the last test match, we went in four seamers, which really did well,” Mhambrey said.
The seamers have done well out here for us: Mhambrey
Mhambrey also said that the seamers have done well for India on conditions like this. Therefore, the management thought that an extra seamer would work well.
“The seamers have done well out here for us. But you can always look at the hindsight, saying additional spinner would have been different. But looking at the conditions in the morning, I thought additional seamer would definitely be unequipped,” he added.
Opting to bowl first, India had a poor outing with the ball. Their move to go in with a spinner and four seamers didn’t work well as the Australian were able to score at a run rate close to 4 and notched up 327 runs in the day. Only Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami did well in phases. The team managed to grab three wickets but Smith and Head took the game away from the last year’s runners-up.
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