How come India left out Ravivhandran Ashwin?

Ravivhandran Ashwin's record: 79 Tests, 413 wickets at 24.56, best figures 7-59, 2,685 runs at 27.68.

What's going on with India and Ravichandran Ashwin not played in any of the tests.

The off-spinner, second in the Test rankings and the fourth most successful bowler in India's history, was left out yet again for the fourth Test against England.

The 34-year-old has 413 Test wickets – only 14 players have taken more – but has not featured once in the series.

This is a man who bagged 32 wickets at an average of 14.71 in India's 3-1 demolition of England on home soil barely six months ago.

"I am staggered," said former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special.

"It has to be greatest non-selection we have ever witnessed across four Tests in the UK. It's madness."

Ex-England spinner Phil Tufnell said: "I can't believe it. How can you have the world's number two ranked bowler sitting up there with his shorts on having a cup of tea for four Test matches?

"Ashwin has that X-factor," said former England batsman Mark Ramprakash, while ex-England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent described his non-selection as a "weird" decision.

Maybe it is because India have an already long tail and Ashwin cannot bat?

Think again. He has five Test centuries, including one against England earlier this year. In fact, only two players in the England team – Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow – have scored more.

True, spinners are much more effective in Indian conditions than English, but Ashwin took 4-45 in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton in June and has comfortably the best average – 28.08 – for a spinner outside Asia since the start of 2016.

Throw in the fact Ashwin took 6-27 at The Oval for Surrey in a County Championship match against Somerset last month and his omission is even more curious.

Recent history suggests the slower bowlers still enjoy the conditions.

"In five Tests played since 2015 at The Oval, seamers have taken 123 wickets at 31.07 with a strike-rate of a wicket every 60 balls," said TMS statistician Andy Zaltzman. "But spinners have 50 wickets at an average of 29.01 and a strike-rate of 51."

"When a player of that quality, experience and know-how doesn't make a team four Tests into a five-match series, you have to start thinking there may be an issue with personalities and clashes," Vaughan said.

"It may just be that the captain and Ravichandran Ashwin don't quite see eye to eye. It's the only excuse and reason why.

"India won at Lord's with four seamers," said Ramprakash. "They are trying to adapt to the conditions and have that relentless four-seamer attack."

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Confirm you are not a spammer! *