While being the world number 2 bowler in the world would be enough for a guaranteed selection in the XI in almost any part of the world, the same is not true for India's Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite being a veteran of over 400 Test scalps and proving himself in home and away conditions to claim the number 2 spot in the ICC bowlers Rankings for Test match cricket, the off-spinner hasn't been included in a single Test match so far in this tour of England.
A picture of Ashwin seemingly lost in thoughts while patiently waiting for his turn is now going viral on the internet. While Ashwin was looking on at the Test match, Team India struggled to break the opening partnership of the home team after giving them a challenging target of 368. India neither tasted success in the final session on Day 4 and managed just two wickets in the first session of Day 5's play at the Oval. With England reaching 131 with two down and over two sessions remaining, possibilities of all results remain open.
Although India has picked Ravindra Jadeja as their spinner, he has looked far from being effective in these conditions. Prior to this Test, he had just two wickets in the entire series and had done just about okay with the bat. When asked about not including Ashwin in the XI at the Toss, captain Virat Kohli had said that with their pacers bowling over the wicket, it suits Jadeja bowling to the left-handers in the English team.
His reasoning hadn't gone down too well with several cricket experts and pundits. Former England captain Michael Vaughan had even termed Ashwin's non-selection as the greatest non-selection ever witnessed across four test matches in the United Kingdom. To drive home his point, Vaughan even highlighted Ashwin's records.
"The non selection of @ashwinravi99 has to be greatest NON selection we have ever witnessed across 4 Tests in the UK !!! 413 Test wickets & 5 Test 100s !!!! #ENGvIND Madness …," he wrote.
Ashwin's wife, Prithi Narayanan had also taken a dig at the team management. Taking to Twitter, Prithi simply shared a video of their daughter looking out for her dad through a telescope.
"Looking for @ashwinravi99," she captioned the video.
Here are some of the reactions on Twitter: