Ricky Ponting, the former Australia skipper, has taken a critical lens to India’s decision to sideline Ravichandran Ashwin in the World Test Championship final. The match, held at the Oval in London against Australia, has raised many eyebrows due to this choice.
Ponting, sharing his thoughts on-air on Star Sports, declared, “India has made a mistake of picking a bowling attack just for the first innings of the game.” This critique stems from his assessment that Ashwin’s skills would have troubled Australia’s left-handers more than Ravindra Jadeja could. “I saw the grass, yes there was grass, but the deeper I looked, it seemed dry to me,” Ponting added, highlighting the pitch conditions.
Ricky Ponting talks about the decision to drop Ravichandran Ashwin from the playing XI in the ICC World Test Championship final 2023
Meanwhile, India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, offered an explanation at the toss. “We have four seamers and one spinner: Ravindra Jadeja,” he stated. Rohit candidly admitted that sidelining Ashwin, a consistent matchwinner for India, was not an easy decision. “It has always been tough… leaving him out is not a great occasion but you have to do things needed for the team,” Rohit added.
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Despite Ponting’s critique, it’s important to note the unpredictability inherent in cricket. Decisions such as these can, and often do, swing the course of the game in unforeseen ways. The exclusion of Ashwin might appear as a loss now, but it also opens up the opportunity for other players to step up and make an impact.
This decision, whether right or wrong, is sure to add a compelling twist to the World Test Championship final. As the teams prepare for this crucial encounter, the spotlight is not only on the players on the field but also those who aren’t.
With the stage set for an unforgettable match, all eyes are on how this decision will play out for the Indian side. Whether it proves to be a tactical masterstroke or a miscalculated error, only time will tell. As fans around the world eagerly anticipate the outcome, this decision undeniably adds another layer of intrigue to the match.