Steve Harmison is surprised to not see Ravichandran Ashwin in playing XI in first test

Ravichandran Ashwin was left out of the playing XI for the first test match in this India tour of England in Nottingham. It was a big surprise when the leading spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was being left of the playing XI in the first test. This has sparked a debate whether the Indian team has chosen the right to play XI in the first test against England Nottingham. There were some excellent performances from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin lately. He even picked up a five-wicket haul when he played for Surrey against Somerset in a County Championship match.

But still the captain Virat Kohli and the team management felt that the combination of four fast bowlers and one spinner is the bowling attack to have in the Nottingham pitch. The lone spinner on the side was Ravindra Jadeja. But still, India’s bowling attack did well in the first innings of the Test match as they bowled out the host England for 183 runs. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were the leading wicket-takers for India in that innings as they bowling figures of 4/46 and 3/28 in that innings. Steve Harmison former England fast bowler is surprised to not see Ashwin not part of the Playing XI in the first test against England.

“I’m surprised; I’m very surprised. I think the England cricket might be happy having a little smile in that dressing room and the thinking ‘we are happy with Ashwin not playing’. He got runs with the bat; he was unbelievable with the ball in India. Ashwin has got a ridiculous number of wickets in English conditions. He played County cricket, got six wickets against Surrey not long ago”, Steve Harmison said on ESPN Cricinfo.

India was in a good position at the end of Day 1 as they scored 21 runs without losing a wicket and were trailing by 162 runs. But the former England fast bowler still believes India’s best bowling combination is having three seamers and two spinners despite the performances of Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj who picked up 2/41 and 1/48 respectively in England first innings.

Steve Harmison further added by saying that “India could beat themselves by not picking the right side. We are talking about two senior spin bowlers who have bowled a lot of overs in Test cricket, who understand the game, who control the game even if the ball is not turning, and still have a positive impact. So for me, as an English man, I’m over the moon with this Indian team because I think Ravichandran Ashwin should have been playing for India, alongside Jadeja”.

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