Ravichandran Ashwin was replaced by Ravindra Jadeja for the 5th Test at the Oval versus England, prompting questions why.
The men in blue had faced a humiliating defeat in the Southampton test recently which had invited a lot of criticisms from the cricket world. The decisive role was played by the English spinner Moeen Ali, who was rightfully crowned as the player of the match.
The pitch which turned out to be spin friendly with the Test match’s progress should have favoured the visitors considering their choice of home pitches. This was attributed to India’s top spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin’s failure of bagging wickets at crucial times, thereby falling short of 60 runs to level the series. Several bigwigs, including Harbhajan Singh, had lashed out at his poor performance.
In the final test being played at London, this player under discussion has been dropped by the management. The reason for such an act has been differently interpreted from all sides because coach Ravi Shastri and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane had clearly stated in their speeches until the second test that the spinner was absolutely fit.
“I don’t think there is a fitness issue there in Ashwin’s case,” the vice-captain reported after the coach announced him to be totally fit.
However, the Indian skipper has cleared out all rumors during the toss regarding Ashwin’s absence from the team. Virat Kohli told reporters that the player had aggravated his injury during the 4th Test, because of which which he has been rested and replaced by the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Now, this statement by the skipper has raised eyebrows everywhere at the moment, considering the verdicts of Shastri and Rahane.
This statement by the skipper clearly indicates that Ashwin was kept in the playing 11 despite not being 100% fit, which explains his poor form in the 4th Test. This has recently led to a controversy to erupt on account of the varied statements being passed by the management regarding the spinner.
Had the management been a bit more cunning they could have easily evaded this unwanted controversy by skilful manipulation of their individual verdicts. We will have to wait for the final confirmation so as to which of the parties have supplied us with the correct information.