New Delhi: India is currently facing Australia in the ongoing World Test Championship final at The Oval in London. Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field first. Though it was not a good start for India, Travis Head and Steve Smith’s impressive partnership of 251 off 370 balls guided Australia to 327/3 in 85 overs on Day 1.
Surprisingly world’s No. 1 test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin was excluded from the playing XI. After winning the toss, Rohit said India have picked Ravindra Jadeja as sole spin option ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin, while going with four fast bowlers in Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, and Shardul Thakur.
India’s bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, opened up about how tough the decision was for the management to exclude Ashwin. He said the decision was purely based on the conditions at The Ovals.
“It is always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler like him. Looking at the conditions in the morning we thought an additional seamer would be beneficial”, he said.
“It has also worked in the past for us. Seamers have done well out here for us. You can always look back and say that additional spinner would have been beneficial but we took the call looking at the conditions,” said Mhambrey.
He further revealed that as the team have been practising for three to four days, even the players understand the importance of team combinations.
“When team discussion happens, we talk about composition over a period of days. We trained here for three four days before the game and seeing the wicket, conversations happen with players. The players also understand that (the importance of team combination)”, The bowling coach said India can surely bounce back in the game.
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The bowling coach also said that the pitch became better for batting more than what India expected at the start of the game.
“The pitch did little bit in the morning. It seamed around a bit in the first hour. As the day progressed, the pitch got a little flatter than what we expected it would be,” he added.