Former Indian off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna addressed India’s rationale behind disregarding Ravichandran Ashwin and termed group management’s move to play Ravindra Jadeja as a strike bowler a “devastating” one.
“Ravindra Jadeja ought to play in all Tests however just as a stock bowler. He is not a wicket-taker. Jadeja’s ability as a spinner doesn’t make him a strike bowler. Presently if the team management compels a stock bowler to turn into a strike bowler, then calamity is holding up to happen,” Prasanna said.
“Ashwin should have played in all three Test matches. From my experience of playing in England, I can tell you that even if Ashwin plays at Old Trafford, he will come good at Oval, which can assist spinners. Jadeja should be used as a supporting option with Ashwin in lead role,” the 74-year-old, who has 189 Test victims from 49 Tests, feels.
Jadeja has so far taken just 8 wickets bowling 142.3 overs in three Test matches with a strike-rate of near 18 overs for a wicket.
“Doesn’t the figures say it all? If a bowler needs more than 100 balls to get a wicket means that a batsmen is getting well settled by that time. Have you seen Jadeja beat the bat of any leading batsmen consistently unless there is some turn and bite on offer from the 22 yards? If not then how can you solely depend on Jadeja?” questions former great, who has often been dubbed as best off-spinner of his generation by former Australian captain Ian Chappell.
Asked what he supposes might be the explanation behind Ashwin’s rejection from the playing XI, Prasanna said,”I don’t recognize what are the contemplations while selecting a playing XI. Anyhow this shows absence of confidence. You must have confidence in Ashwin for him to convey.
“If Ashwin has reached 100 wickets in quickest time, there must be some reason behind it. Look at England. They showed faith in that young boy Moeen and he has delivered.”
But Prasanna is of the opinion that India should play two spinners irrespective of the conditions as that is our strength.
“On the off chance that we contrast our seamers and that of England, they absolutely have a more strong assault than our own. Both Stuart Broad and James Anderson can reliably bowl near 140 kmph and utilize the short ball sparingly. On the off chance that you can swing the ball at that pace, its not simple to uproot the bat as batsmen have an inclination to hang their bats,” he said.
“Our bowlers are bowling mostly in early 130 kmps and the batsmen are discovering enough time to remove their bats. Additionally matches are won by execution of bowlers between overs 30 and 60. Have our seamers done well with the semi-new ball? In the event that we won at Lord’s was on account of Ishant rocked the bowling alley those bouncers. It was not some extraordinary display of crease and swing bowling,” he clarified.
“Look even at Lord’s, the pitch flattened out considerably after the first day. Therefore the logic of not using a finger spinner doesn’t work.”