Rahul Dravid explains reason behind Ashwin's exclusion from playing 11 vs England in Edgbaston
After India lost to England by seven wickets in the fifth and final test, there were a lot of voices that called out the exclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin from the playing eleven.
India's head coach, Rahul Dravid though. defended the team's strategy.
"It's not easy to leave someone like Ash out in a Test match but when we looked at the wicket on the first day, it had a pretty even covering of grass, and we felt that there was enough in it for the fast bowlers," Dravid explained the team's position.
He also added that the wicket anyways did not offer much spin to either Jack Leach or Jadeja.
"Also, if you see, the wicket hasn't spun much either for Jack Leach or Ravi Jadeja, who bowled through the match. Weather also played a part as for the first three days, there weren't long phases of sunshine. Probably, it didn't spin as much as we expected it to."
Dravid further went on to say that everything looks different in hindsight but the reality is a bit different.
"It actually would have looked nice to have a second spinner but it didn't turn enough to justify the inclusion," he added.
India, of late, have been a force to reckon with in the Test format. Their success in the longest format of the game can be attributed to how well the pace attack, as well as the spinners, have performed over the past few years.
But, since the change in the coaching staff, India has played three overseas tests and lost all three. Two vs South Africa and the recently concluded Edgbaston Test vs England.
To make matters worse, the loss in these Test matches have come in the fourth innings, where South Africa and England chased down targets above 210 - without breaking much sweat.
South Africa chased down 243 and 212, whereas England scripted history to chase down a record target of 378. In all these three matches - Team India could only take three wickets.
What has changed all of a sudden? Is the team missing Bharat Arun?
Has the strategy changed for the fourth innings? Have the inputs changed? India went defensive way early in the game - something that wasn't seen when Kohli was in charge. It was like India were anticipating an assault. And when it happened, they had no 'Plan B'.
Team India will next face England in a three-match T20 series starting July 7.