Former India batsman VVS Laxman said he could not understand the reasons behind India not picking Ashwin for the second Test in a row against England. India decided to bring a fit-again Ishant Sharma in place of Shardul Thakur for the second Test against Lord’s while Ashwin was ignored again.
Laxman said it is difficult to understand how Ashwin from being the first-choice spinner in the WTC final last month, is not good enough to make the XI now.
“Ishant Sharma walks into the team if he is a 100% fit, maybe in place of Mohammed Siraj. I’m not able to comprehend what changed from WTC finals when
was your first-choice spinner and suddenly in a matter of a month, he’s not even finding a place in the XI,” Laxman told ESPNCricinfo.
India decided to stick to the four seamers and one spinner template in this Test. Laxman said, a fourth seamer always ends up being under bowled irrespective of the conditions.
“I always believe, four fast bowlers are a luxury irrespective of the conditions you are playing in. India have got three quality fast bowlers, whether one of them is Siraj or Ishant, it doesn’t matter. Both of them have got the ability to bowl long spells,” Laxman said.
The former India batsman said he doesn’t see Ashwin playing in the series if India continue to maintain the same formation.
“Ashwin adds variety to that bowling attack and he’s got an abundance of experience. I’m not able to comprehend the reasoning behind this decision but I think it’s pretty clear after listening to Kohli in the press conferences in Nottingham and also here that he wants to continue with this template.
“I think Ashwin will have to wait. Yes, it’s overcast now but it’s not going to remain the same in all five days. So if Ashwin is not playing in these conditions, I don’t see him getting into the XI as I don’t believe Kohli will change this template soon,” Laxman added.