India have picked the wrong side, spin will play a big part in WTC final: Steve Waugh

"The Oval is always tricky. It looks green on top but underneath it is crumbly and a bit dry," Waugh mentioned.

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Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh believes that India have made an error in judgement when skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl first on June 7 at The Oval. He believes the track is a bit tricky, and once the sun hits the deck, batters get a lot of help from the surface. Thus, according to Waugh, India should have batted first in the World Test Championship final and could have used the surface to their advantage.

Waugh also pointed out that Australia made a similar error in the 2019 edition of The Ashes. The 1999 World Cup-winning skipper also added that India should have played Ravichandran Ashwin in the summit clash. He added that the veteran can bat as well, and it would have helped India in the middle.

“We made the same blunder four years ago in the Ashes. The Oval is always tricky. It looks green on top but underneath, it is crumbly and a bit dry. You can get lulled into the overcast sky and green pitch and think it is going to do everything. As soon as the sun comes out it is totally different and dries out quickly,” Waugh was quoted as saying by The Western Australian.

“I do think (India) have picked the wrong side. Spin will play a big part in this Test match and it is going to be up and down. I would have picked Ashwin for his batting, let alone his bowling. That is why I can't believe he isn't playing because he has got five Test centuries as well. It is very strange,” the former cricketer added.

Hogg backs Jadeja-Ashwin duo for WTC final

Notably, former Australia cricketer Brad Hogg too criticised India for not picking Ashwin in the WTC finals. He added that the pacers have come after a long marathon tournament and, thus, couldn’t create much of an impact. Thus, he backed the Jadeja-Ashwin duo instead of playing four pacers at The Oval.

“India made a decision, and whatever the wicket was like, they should have played Ashwin anyway. They have just come off an IPL and have got four fast bowlers out there that haven't bowled long spells. So Ashwin and Jadeja could have held up one end and taken a lot of pressure off the fast bowlers at the other end when they were low on fuel,” Hogg mentioned.

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