Ravichandran Ashwin has been benched for the fifth Test between India and England at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Jasprit Bumrah, the stand-in skipper, on Friday announced that the team has opted to go with four full-time bowlers – himself, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur – and one all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. 

Ashwin, who is the most successful Indian bowler in Tests from the current lot, missing out left social media divided. While some Twitter users came out to criticise the coach Rahul Dravid-led management, some called the off-spinner’s exclusion a justified move. 

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Interestingly, when the 35-year-old was not selected for the Indian leg of the series last year, then skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri were slammed. Former England batter Nick Compton said that ‘Kohli’s prickly relationship’ with the offie had costed the latter his place in the playing 11. 

“I just don’t understand how Kohli’s prickly relationship with Ashwin is allowed to keep him out of Indian teams? Do you think Captains should be allowed such autonomy?” Compton tweeted. Several social media users had a similar view. 

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However, now with Bumrah and Dravid in charge, Ashwin has been benched again. Some tweets were targetted at the critics who had gone after Kohli. 

“Where are those people who are continuously trolling Virat and Ravi Shastri for not playing Ashwin???? See this new management team also…..,” a Twitter user said. 

“The holy journos gave their verdict that Kohli-Shastri doesn’t like Ashwin… So either Dravid-Bumrah also have developed a dislike for the champion spinner or those journalists don’t know a thing and feed on speculations,” one more added. 

Some said, Ashwin’s exclusion is a huge loss for India. 

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“Ashwin is far better batsman than shreyas in test, would’ve played him in place of iyer anyday. Just wondering iyer couldn’t play seamers in t20 so how would he play Anderson and broad in England. If he does not well please remove him from the test squad,” one user tweeted. 

“The only contention I have with Ind’s XI is Ashwin not being there, despite the pitches in England assisting spin a lot more this season. Thakur leaks runs at 4 rpo mostly and India can’t afford that England’s counter attacking lower middle order,” one more added. 

India (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah(c)