Saturday, April 01, 2023

‘Team-selection isn’t about justice, it’s about balance’- Aakash Chopra on India’s decision to exclude Ashwin for the Oval Test

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has come to the defense of skipper Virat Kohli over the latter’s decision to bench off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the Oval Test.

Chopra took to his official Twitter account where he wrote that Ravindra Jadeja is being picked ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin because the former is an all-round package as compared to the veteran off-spinner.

Chopra wrote:

“It’s not Jadeja-the bowler that’s getting picked ahead of Ashwin in England…it’s the package that Jadeja is”

The former opener added that Jadeja’s selection is in line with the team’s balance and management’s strategy of playing five bowlers.

He signed off by stating that team-selection is about balance and not about justice.

“And what’s in line with the balance of the side considering the 5-bowler strategy. Remember team-selection isn’t about justice…it’s about balance. #EngvInd

‘England has four left-handers, so a good match-up for Jadeja’- Virat Kohli on Jadeja’s inclusion over Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin is yet to feature in the ongoing five-match Test series in England
Ravichandran Ashwin is yet to feature in the ongoing five-match Test series in England

The non-selection of Ravichandran Ashwin in the first three Tests was one of the biggest talking points.

With the Oval traditionally expected to aid spinners, one thought that the No.2 ranked Test bowler in the world will finally get a place in the playing XI in the all-important Test.

However, the Virat Kohli-led management opted to stick to their 4 seamers + 1 spinner template by including seam-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in place of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami respectively.

Kohli was asked about the thought process behind benching Ashwin for the 4th Test at the Oval.

This is what the Indian skipper said:

“England has four left-handers, so a good match-up for Jadeja, with our seamers bowling over the wicket. Also factors in his balance at No.7. “

Meanwhile, India are in a spot of bother in the ongoing Oval Test as they have lost their first three batters within the space of first 20 overs.

The opening duo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul started on a positive note as they racked up 28 runs in the first 7 overs.

However, Chris Woakes’ introduction proved to be a game-changer as he knocked over Rohit Sharma with a peach.

Woakes and Robinson proceeded to bowl 7 maidens in a row and the pressure exerted finally led to the demise of KL Rahul.

Rahul was once again undone by a nip-backer from Ollie Robinson.

James Anderson returned brilliantly after a poor opening spell to script the downfall of Cheteshwar Pujara, leaving India reeling at 39/3.


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