New Delhi, Jun 11 (PTI) The legendary Sachin Tendulkar found senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's exclusion from India's playing XI for the World Test Championship final baffling, as a spinner of his calibre doesn't need conducive conditions to be effective. Australia thrashed India by 209 runs in the WTC final and Ashwin's absence from XI was defended by coach Rahul Dravid, who said that overcast conditions forced them to pick a fourth specialist seamer, even though the opposition line-up comprised five left-handers. WTC 2023 Final: 'Let Ourselves Down A Little Bit With How We Bowled' Admits Rohit Sharma.

There was bright sunshine on all five days and Australia raced to 469 in the first innings, literally shutting the doors on India. "India had to bat big in the first innings to stay in the game, but they couldn't. There were some good moments for Team India, but I fail to understand the exclusion of Ashwin in the playing XI, who is currently the number one Test bowler in the world," Tendulkar tweeted on Sunday.

What surprised Tendulkar is the fact that he found it difficult to believe that a bowler of Ashwin's calibre can't be used in conditions which are seamer-friendly. "Like I had mentioned before the match, skilful spinners don't always rely on turning tracks, they use drift in the air and bounce off the surface to disguise their variations. Not to forget, Australia had 5 left-handers out of their top 8 batters." For the record, Ashwin has picked up 61 wickets in 13 Tests in the two-year cycle of the second WTC edition.

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