Not for the first time, India erred with its team composition to let the advantage slip on a big occasion. On a day when the sun shone brightly for the most part, India left out ace spinner R. Ashwin. The off-spinner watched from the sidelines even as The Oval pitch provided a tempting fare of uneven bounce.
A tenacious Australian batting line-up made the most of the miss, moving to a comfortable 327 for three at the end of the first day of the ICC World Test Championship final in London on Wednesday.
Ashwin’s absence hit home when Umesh Yadav, his replacement in the eleven, was handled with ease. Umesh, who came into the attack at first change, deflated the pressure built until this point, conceding four boundaries in his second over. It was a forgettable day for Umesh, who delivered 14 unimpressive overs without taking a wicket.
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