Why Ashwin not playing today: India have persisted with their winning combination in England from last year.
During the first day of the fifth rescheduled Test between England and India in Birmingham, players have taken an early lunch after rainfall marked its first presence in the match to force an immediate interruption. Considering the weather prediction for today, rain interruption isn’t surprising by any means.
Out of the 20.1 overs that were possible in the morning session, England managed to pick a couple of wickets after captain Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to bowl under overcast conditions.
Both marking a return to the Indian Test squad, Shubman Gill (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13) were the two batters to be dismissed by veteran England pacer James Anderson in the first session. Opening the batting together for the first time at this level, both Gill and Pujara were caught by England batter Zac Crawley in the slips.
Michael Vaughan questions why Ashwin not playing today in 5th Test at Edgbaston
With England announcing their Playing XI for this match without any major surprise yesterday, there wasn’t any criticism for them with respect to their combination.
India, on the other hand, faced severe criticism for sticking to their winning combination in England from last year. The visitors’ move to play with four fast bowlers and a spin-bowling all-rounder resulted in no place in the XI for ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was among the many who questioned Ashwin’s absence from the XI at Edgbaston today.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 1, 2022
Ashwin, who hadn’t played any of the four Tests in England in 2021, has the best Test average among Indian bowlers in the last 12 months. Highest wicket-taker in Tests in the last two years, Ashwin’s omission has it in it to be questioned irrespective of the team management’s thought-process.