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Feud or Tactical ? Kohli's decision to drop Ashwin and Rohit for 1st Test has left a big question

While Rohit Sharma is having an impressive run with the bat, Ravichandran Ashwin's record with the ball in West Indies has been impressive in the past.
Feud or Tactical ? Kohli's decision to drop Ashwin and Rohit for 1st Test has left a big questionRohit Sharma and R Ashwin were benched for the first Test. (Photo: Twitter)
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The ICC World Test Championship between Indian and West Indies have finally begun with the first test currently underway at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. Apart from India's performance, the announcement of Playing XI by Kohli at the toss but the playing XI did raise a lot of eyebrows. The exclusion of Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin came as a surprise to cricket fans. 
West Indies won the toss on Day 1 and decided to bowl against India. The bowlers put the number one ranked Test team in the world on the backfoot by picking up early wickets. The Indian batting line-up was exposed by the Windies pacers. Inexperienced Mayank Agarwal was dismissed early. Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli, too couldn't do much with the bat. KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahane though stitched partnership to steady the innings, the team missed a batsman who can certainly have made an impact on at the top or can bind together the middle-order.
Looking at the current form, Rohit Sharma could have been drafted in the side instead of Hanuma Vihari who played in the Middle-order. The'Hitman' is currently in the best form with the bat in white-ball cricket and the same form would have come handy at the top or in the middle order alongside Ajinkya Rahane.
The series provides an ideal opportunity for him to showcase his worth in the longer format after been brought back in the side by MSK-Prasad led selection committee. The team management though had other thoughts.
The other surprise in the match was Ashwin been benched for the match. Kohli going with four bowlers instead of his preferred five bowlers was also a surprise. The skipper named Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohamed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja as the lone spinner. 
Ashwin who is no longer the automatic choice has an impressive record in Test cricket as well. In 65 Tests so far, he has 342 wickets at 25.43 and 2361 runs at 29.14. He is the fastest in the world to both 250 and 300 Test wickets.
His record against West Indies is simply remarkable. Back in 2016 when India toured West Indies, Ashwin had picked up 17 wickets in four matches. He had picked up a 7-for in the very first Test of that series. He had also scored two centuries to bag the Man of the Series award. Overall, In 11 Tests against West Indies, Ashwin has taken 60 wickets at 21.85, and has scored four hundred to give him an average of over 50. Inspite of such impressive record it's shocking to find a bowler of his caliber on the bench. 

 

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