Sunil Gavaskar questions Ashwin’s exclusion from India’s WTC XI

India’s batting legend Sunil Gavaskar considers that not a single highly successful cricketer in India has endured the strange treatment which has been inflicted towards Ravichandran Ashwin. Veteran off-spinner Ashwin was left out of India’s competing eleven. India eventually faced defeat against Australia in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final at The Oval.

In the weeks prior to this year’s WTC final, the issue of whether to feature Ashwin in XI or not sparked a lot of debate and disagreement. Veteran cricketers from both India and Australia seemed highly dismissive of his omission from the initial squad. Some statements were raised claiming India was unable to do well with the ball in hand.

Former cricketer Gavaskar highlighted the number of left-handers Australia carried in their WTC final playing XI. He mentioned the possible effect Ashwin might have had against them.

Ashwin would have already played more than 100 Test matches: Gavaskar

The cricketer-turned-commentator elaborated that the treatment meted out to Ashwin in these kinds of situations isn’t something new. According to Gavaskar, it was quite baffling considering his stature as a bowler.

“No other top-class Indian cricketer in the modern era has been treated as bafflingly as Ashwin has been. Tell me if there was a No. 1 ICC-ranked batter in the team, would he have been left out of the playing XI just because in earlier times he had not got runs on a grassy pitch or if he had not scored runs on a dry spin-friendly pitch? Definitely not.”

“This is not being wise after the event, but a pattern that has been seen over the years. But for this ‘hard to understand thinking’ he would have already played more than 100 Test matches,” wrote Gavaskar in his latest column for Mid-Day.

Ashwin, the highest-ranked Test bowler, was left out of the big encounter despite possessing 474 wickets. In this process, he played 92 matches at a strike rate of 51.8 and 32 five-wicket hauls.