The chances of Ravichandran Ashwin playing the World Test Championship final against Australia appear to be slim as of now. The weather has changed a lot in the last couple of days and currently, it is cold, and overcast while the pitch at The Oval has an even covering of grass. The weather forecast for the next few days is quite similar. In fact, the chances of rain increase as we head into the weekend. This means that despite having two of the best spin-bowling all-rounders in the world – Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, India can’t afford to field them both in the XI.
Because of the injury to Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul, India’s middle-order is pretty light and hence, they can’t afford to drop Ravindra Jadeja and play Ashwin, the better bowler, if they go in with only one spinner. As things stand now, Jadeja is likely to be India’s lone spinner and also the No.6 batter while Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Uandkat are likely to be the four pacers.
India captain Rohit Sharma, however, insisted to wait till Wednesday to find out India’s final XI.
“Yeah, see, I’ve not said that Ashwin is not going to play. We’ll wait until tomorrow – because one thing I have seen here – the pitch actually changes quite a bit from day to day. Today it’s looking the way it is. Tomorrow it might be slightly different, who knows. So the message to the boys has been very clear, all 15 must be ready to play at any point in time. And we’ll see the conditions tomorrow as well and make that decision as to who gets into that playing 11,” he said on Tuesday.