Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain and renowned batsman, strongly criticized Rohit Sharma and the Indian team management, leaving no room for ambiguity. He condemned their significant selection blunder for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain and legendary batter, didn’t hold back and launched a scathing attack on Rohit Sharma and the Indian team management. He criticized them for making a massive selection blunder for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Gavaskar joined the bandwagon of pundits who voiced their criticism of the Indian team’s decision to drop No.1 ranked Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin from the playing XI.
Gavaskar’s Bafflement: Ashwin’s Exclusion and India’s Costly Decision in WTC Final
On Star Sports, Gavaskar expressed his bafflement, stating, “Well, first and foremost, they could have had R Ashwin in the team (what India could have done differently on Day 1?). It really baffles me… irrespective of what the conditions are, the No. 1 bowler in the ICC rankings is not able to find a place in the Indian playing XI. That is something that has baffled me all the time whenever it’s Ashwin. Even the last time when India were here (in England), they were just not picking him.”
Captain Rohit elected to bowl first after winning the toss, considering the nice covering of green grass on the wicket. Based on the pitch and conditions, India opted for a four-seamer-one-spinner combination, which resulted in Ashwin being sidelined. However, India’s decision quickly backfired as Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur appeared out of sorts, leaking a significant number of runs and relieving the pressure off Australia.
Gavaskar expressed his opinion that both Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur were undercooked for the WTC final as they missed several matches during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season. He also emphasized that the presence of multiple left-handed batters in the Australian lineup called for the selection of Ravichandran Ashwin.
According to Gavaskar, “Sometimes, you get a little carried away. If you have 4 quality seam bowlers, it’s a different thing. Top-quality seam bowlers. Two of our seam bowlers were undercooked. One is Umesh Yadav, who did not play in the last few matches for KKR, and Shardul Thakur, who hadn’t bowled a lot. On the other hand, you had two bowlers who played every single game for their franchises. They might have been a little overcooked despite it being a 4-over spell.”
Gavaskar further stated, “With so many left-handers in the Australian XI, an off-spinner should have been there. I think that’s where India missed a trick.”