Ravichandran Ashwin was left out of the playing XI for the Edgbaston Test.© Instagram
Having been in control for much of the ongoing rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston, India found themselves on the back foot at stumps on Day 4. Apart from Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant, the Indian batting failed to come to the party in the second innings, and were bowled out for 245, setting England a target of 378 runs to win the fifth Test. Despite the batters’ failings in the second innings, India still would have been quietly confident with England needing to chase over 350 runs to win the match — a feat that has never been accomplished at Edgbaston.
But by the end of the day’s play, England had wrestled control away from India and put themselves in pole position for a series-levelling win.
Former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria, took to Koo, and questioned India’s decision to leave out veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin from the playing XI, saying the team made the mistake and is now “paying the price”.
“Winning to loosing (sic) position team India at Edgbaston. Why Ravichandran Ashwin was not in playing eleven who made the call, Dravid as coach played so much in England know the condition very well it’s England summer where the wickets get baked and dry and from day 3 ball gets to spin, where there is seam it will spin because of moisture. Only Bumrah looks that he can do wonders. India made the mistake and paying the price,” Kaneria wrote on the Koo app.
There have been only two successful fourth-innings chases above 200 in a Test at Edgbaston, with South Africa making 283-5 in 2008 and England 211-3 against New Zealand in 1999.
However, India’s hopes suffered a massive hit in the fourth innings as the English opening pair of Alex Lees and Zak Crawley put on 107 runs to put the hosts on top. India did fight back briefly but Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow got together to put their team firmly in control of the proceedings.
The Indian bowlers failed to break the partnership as England reached 259 for three at stumps on Day 4, needing just 119 more runs to win on the final day of the fifth Test.
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