Tendulkar questions Ashwin’s WTC final exclusion; Gavaskar, Shastri put spotlight on shot selection after India’s loss

Ravi Shastri shares his view on the scheduling debate; Ashwin’s exclusion baffles Tendulkar, and Gavaskar is critical of shot selection.

Published : Jun 11, 2023 21:55 IST , London - 3 MINS READ

Indian captain Rohit Sharma during the WTC Final against Australia.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma during the WTC Final against Australia. | Photo Credit: AP

Indian captain Rohit Sharma during the WTC Final against Australia. | Photo Credit: AP

Indian cricket stalwarts Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, and Ravi Shastri weighed in with their opinions after India lost to Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final by 209 runs at Oval, England, on Sunday.

India’s former coach Shastri sounded sceptical about the possibility of players getting extended gap after the Indian Premier League (IPL) or practice games ahead of future WTC final matches unless there is a change in thought by all the stakeholders.

After the loss, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid said arriving in England at least two weeks earlier and playing some practice matches would have been ideal for the team ahead of the big game. Incidentally, IPL ended on May 29.

However, Shastri put the onus on the players to make a choice.

“That’s never going to happen. Let’s be realistic. You’re going to get 20 days, but if that’s the case, you got to miss the IPL. The choice is yours (players),” Shastri said on Star Sports.

Shastri also hinted that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have to sit down with the IPL teams to chalk out a way forward.

“It’s up to the establishment as well. I’m sure the BCCI is going to review this in the future. If the WTC Final is going to come after the IPL, in month of June, for that season, if your team qualifies for the final, there should be certain clauses put in for the franchises,” said Shastri.

Earlier, Shastri had also criticised the shot selection of Indian top-order batters.

“What’s amazed me though is the way that the pitch has behaved. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara will be kicking themselves for playing the shots that they played. They were poor shots when they were batting beautifully,” said Shastri.

India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar too questioned Virat Kohli’s shot selection on final day. Kohli edged one to the slips chasing the ball wide outside the off stump.

“It was a bad shot,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports. “You should ask Kohli what shot he played.”

“We talk so much about when you’re going to win a match you need the long innings, a century-plus innings. How are you going to get a century-plus innings if you’re going to play shots which are so far outside off stump?”

While congratulating the Australian team for its win in the final, Tendulkar questioned the non-selection of Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI for the big game.

“There were some good moments for Team India, but I fail to understand the exclusion of @ashwinravi99 in the playing XI, who is currently the number one Test bowler in the world,” Tendulkar tweeted.

“Like I had mentioned before the match, skillful spinners don’t always rely on turning tracks, they use drift in the air and bounce off the surface to disguise their variations. Not to forget, Australia had 5 left-handers out of their top 8 batters,” he added.

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