Australia dominated Day 1 of the World Test Championship Final to put India under big pressure at The Oval on Wednesday, June 7. Indian team skipper Rohit Sharma won the crucial toss and elected to bowl first in the summit clash. Indian pacers initially justified Rohit's decision to bowl first with three big wickets but Travis Head and Steve Smith dominated the rest of Day 1 to help Australia score 327/3 in just 85 overs.
Rohit's decision to drop the world no.1 Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin due to the playing conditions has not gone well with Indian cricket fans and the former captains. During the lunch break, Sourav Ganguly revealed that he would have found it very tough if he was captaining the WTC final match. He added that Rohit's decision to play with four pace options has worked in the past but it's impossible for him to keep a spinner of Ashwin's quality out.
"See it's an afterthought. And I don't believe in afterthoughts. As a captain, you take a decision before the toss and India had decided that they would go in with 4 fast bowlers. Having said that, in the last couple of years, they have had success in the last couple of years with 4 pacers. They've won Test matches but if you ask me... if I was captaining - and every captain is different - Rohit and I think differently. I would find it very hard to keep a spinner out of Ashwin's quality out of the XI," Sourav Ganguly said on Star Sports during the lunch break.
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar also questioned Rohit's decision based on playing conditions and said that India missed the trick by not playing Ashwin. He said that he would have picked Ashwin ahead of Umesh Yadav and added that the latter seemed out of form on Day 1.
“India missed a trick by not playing Ravi Ashwin. He's the No. 1 Ranked bowler. You don't look at the pitch for players like him. You are playing a World Test Championships final, and you don’t pick the number one bowler in Test cricket. This decision from Team India is beyond my understanding. I would have picked him in place of Umesh Yadav, who was out of action and looks out of rhythm,” Gavaskar said.