After many were left surprised as India dropped Ravichandran Ashwin from the team for the WTC final, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on Wednesday broke his silence and said that the omission of the world's top-ranked Test bowler was tough and after looking at the pitch they decided to go out with four seamers.
India decided not to pick the world's top-ranked Test bowler Ashwin for the ICC World Test Championship Final against Australia, as captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bowl first at The Oval.
Travis Head and Steve Smith produced an unbroken 251-run fourth-wicket partnership that guided Australia to 327/3 and well on top after the opening day of the ICC World Test Championship Final against India at The Oval.
In the opening several hours of play, India's quicks had claimed three wickets when the ball was moving around, but they could have been able to utilise the available swing and seam a little more.
The India selection decided to stay with Ravindra Jadeja as the only spinner, following their strategy against England in identical circumstances in 2021 and 2022, despite the surface having a green tint and England's unpredictable overhead weather conditions.
"It is always a very difficult decision to drop a champion bowler like him. Looking at the conditions in the morning we thought an additional seamer would be beneficial. It has also worked in the past for us. Seamers have done well out here for us. You can always look back and say that additional spinner would have been beneficial but we took the call looking at the conditions, " Paras Mhambrey said in a post-match press conference.
Mhambrey said that India can still make a comeback against Australia and with the "freshness in the wicket" they can do something.
"Definitely we have an opportunity to make a comeback as there is still seam and cut. In the first hour of tomorrow morning with conditions and freshness in the wicket we can do something," India bowling coach Mhambrey said.
So far, choosing to bowl first has paid off, as Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj both bowled some excellent lines and lengths. With their deadly bowling, they put Australia's top order to the test and forced them to dance to bowlers' tunes.
However, Umesh Yadav's entry into the period after theirs did help Australian batsmen to free their arms as he bowled short lengths. At lunch on day 1, Shardul Thakur maintained things under control and dismissed David Warner for two Australian wickets.
After the Shami and Siraj breathed fire and restricted Aussie batters for a time period, however, Umesh Yadav's entry helped Australians to free their arms as he bowled short lengths. At lunch on day 1, Shardul Thakur maintained things under control and dismissed David Warner.
"Umesh Yadav is fine. In terms of bowling I think we could have been a bit more disciplined that's why we conceded more runs than we could have. We discussed this among our bowlers. We felt that strategy could have been better," Mhambrey said.