The Indian great Sunil Gavaskar lambasted the Indian team management for not picking Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the WTC final (2021–23). India is taking on Australia in the final of the WTC at the Oval, England, which began on June 7. On the first day of the final, Australia displayed a dominant performance as Steve Smith and Travis Head guided Australia to 327-3. At the end of the first day, veteran Sunil Gavaskar questioned the Indian cricket think tank for not including No. 1 test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the WTC final.
Instead of Ashwin, team India entered the Oval with four fast bowlers, including Umesh Yadav, who didn’t perform as per expectations. India is playing the final with only one all-season spinner, Ravindra Jadeja. Indian bowlers were off to a great start on Day 1 as pace bowlers scalped three Australian batters, but later on Travis Head and Steve Smith showed resistance by putting together a partnership of 251 runs, where Travis Head is standing tall with 146 not out and Steve Smith is heading towards his 31st century; he is on 95* at the end of day 1. Sunil Gavaskar, while speaking to Star Sports, said a few words:
“India missed a trick by not playing Ravi Ashwin. He’s the No. 1 Ranked bowler. You don’t look at the pitch for players like him. You are playing a World Test Championships final, and you don’t pick the number one bowler in Test cricket. This decision from Team India is beyond my understanding. I would have picked him in place of Umesh Yadav, who was out of action and looks out of rhythm,”
“There are four left-handed batters in this Australian side, and he has traditionally done well against them. It is shocking that there isn’t any off-spinner in this side,”Sunil Gavaskar said.