Moeen Ali’s spinner (6/67) plummeted Indian batting and India ultimately lost the Southampton Test by 266 runs. Sourav Ganguly suggested that the team needs to make changes if they need to get back their lead in the five-Test series.
After a remarkable win at Lord’s, Team India crumbled to an embarrassing 266-run defeat against England at Southampton on Thursday. England Spinner Moeen Ali’s managed to bowl India out for a miserable 178 in the second innings. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly felt that the batting line-up of India needs some a new viewpoint and veteran Gautam Gambhir must be included in the playing XI for the fourth Test starting August 7.
Indian batsmen had their backs stuck to the wall on the final day of the 3rd Test when 333 were needed with only six wickets remaining. While winning was extremely unlikely, a draw became impossible when Moeen Ali delivered repeated blows in the first session. “If a spinner claims six wickets in overseas conditions, it is very disappointing,” said Ganguly after the match. “The team needs fresher ideas at the top (and) Gambhir must be brought in. Dhawan needs to be rested.”
While Moeen has now grabbed more Test wickets against India outside Asia (15) than any other spinner since 1980, Dhawan’s form has been the exact opposite. The opener has scored 122 runs from his six innings on the tour so far which is just a shade better than Virat Kohli‘s 101 from as many innings. Ganguly though is not too perturbed by Kohli’s patchy form. “I am not too worried about Kohli but I am concerned about Shikhar.”
India’s batting is a major source of concern after the Southampton defeat, but Ganguly said the visitors need to look into the bowling department as well. “Umesh Yadav should have been on this tour to England. Varun Aaron has no experience of playing here (but) he needs to be given a chance. A bit more pace and you never know,” he said.
The series may be level at 1-1 now but the former India skipper said he is sure India will bounce back harder from the defeat at the Rose Bowl. “The England team is vulnerable. India can beat them at Manchester.”