Australia’s legendary former captain Steve Waugh has severely criticized Indian team management for leaving out R Ashwin out of the XI for the ongoing WTC 2023 final at the Oval in London.
After the Aussies put a strong score of 469 in the first innings thanks to Travis Head’s 163 and Steve Smith’s 121, India faced a flurry of early dismissals – being reduced to 71/4 before even the 20-over mark.
Star Indian batters Rohit Sharma (15), Shubman Gill (13), Cheteshwar Pujara (14), and Virat Kohli (14) were dismissed cheaply in the first innings of the match, adding to the side's concerns in the game.
At the end of second day, India was 151/5 with Ajinkya Rahane and KS Bharat going back unbeaten. But on the second ball of day three, Bharat fell to Scott Boland, compounding India’s troubles.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh was dissatisfied with India's side selection for the match, and while many believed Ravichandran Ashwin could have improved India's bowling, Waugh believes the off-spinner could have also enhanced the batting order.
“I would have picked Ashwin for his batting, let alone his bowling. That is why I can't believe he isn't playing because he has got five Test centuries as well. It is very strange. It looks green on top but underneath it is crumbly and a bit dry. You can get lulled into the overcast sky and green pitch and think it is going to do everything.
As soon as the sun comes out it is totally different and dries out quickly. I do think (India) have picked the wrong side. Spin will play a big part in this Test match and it is going to be up and down,” Waugh told AAP.