The Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri deduction in the English summer last year that Ravichandran Ashwin does not fit into the scheme of things for the Tests at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Headingley and The Oval was assumed to be based on the conditions — weather and pitch. A like call was taken by the new combo in Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Dravid for the newly time-tabled fifth Test at Edgbaston. They had no qualms to keep India’s most successful off-spinner on the fringes. It’s anybody’s guess as to what Rohit Sharma would have done had he not been struck by the Covid-19 bug and rendered hors de combat. On his part, Shastri, in front of the microphone at Edgbaston, explained the difficulties of leaving Ashwin out of the playing XI; he touched upon cloud cover etc. It was a fait accompli plight for Ashwin though, once his name was not inked in the first eleven at Edgbaston. “Field the best XI” has been the refrain from experts, including the SONY Sports commentator, Graeme Swann, England’s most successful off spinner. Point blank he said, it will be crazy to leave out Ashwin from any Test India plays. Ashwin has played a Test at Edgbaston and the numbers he delivered in 2018 were: 4/62 and 3/59! His victims were Cook, Buttler, Stokes and Broad and Cook, Root and Jennings.