India left its premier spinner R. Ashwin out of the playing XI for the fourth time in the ongoing Test series between England and India, going in with a lone spinner in Ravindra Jadeja and four fast bowlers in the fourth Test at the Oval, as in the previous Test matches.
Ashwin’s omission is baffling since he was a thorn in England’s flesh in the recent Test series between the two sides in India, taking 32 wickets in four Tests. Overall, he has taken 88 wickets against England, in 19 Tests, at a bowling average of 28.59, and in England, he has played six Tests against England, taking 14 wickets at 32.92.
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Former England Test captain Michael Vaughan wrote on Twitter: “The non-selection of R. Ashwin has to be the greatest non-selection we have ever witnessed across four Tests in the U.K. 413 Test wickets and five Test hundreds!!”
I really hope it works but I am flabbergasted that India have gone in without Ashwin again.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 2, 2021
Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh wrote in reply: “Makes you wonder if the Indian think tank has any clue!!”
Commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote: “I really hope it works but I am flabbergasted that India have gone in without Ashwin again.”
India made two changes to its line-up for the fourth Test at the Oval: fast bowlers Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav came in for Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.