India’s off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has rued the poor shot selection of the Indian batsmen. India slipped from 142-2 to 195-8 and gave the advantage baton to England. Thus, the visitors lost six wickets for just 53 runs as the former demons in the batting line-up reappeared. The credit of the collapse goes to the Indian batsmen who dig their own grave.
Ravichandran Ashwin tried to reverse sweep Moeen Ali while batting on just one. Yes, maybe the talisman off-spinner forgot that he was playing in the red ball version. Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya played a flick straight to Joe Root at short mid-wicket. Thus, it was poor shot making from the tourist’s batsmen.
India could have been in a dominating position.
“It’s sad the way our guys are giving away these wickets. They should have done better than this,” Bhajji told Times of India.
In fact, Moeen Ali scalped five wickets as he kept his penchant of hunting down the Indian batsmen in Southampton. Ali had scalped eight wickets in the 2014 Test played against India at the same venue. He was there again in 2018 and scalped his fifer.
However, the disappointing part is that Indian batsmen are born on the turning tracks and could not show the intent against Ali.
Harbhajan Singh gave credit to Moeen Ali for varying his pace as he made use of the footmarks created by Ishant Sharma’s follow through.
“He varied the pace beautifully and made the batsmen play all the time. The fact that there was a bit of rough outside the off-stump created by Ishant’s footmarks helped his case as well,” Harbhajan Singh went on add.
Harbhajan Singh also criticised the shot making of Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya.
“Those were really poor shots by Ashwin and Pandya. Not just me, they themselves will be disappointed with the shots they have played. If they had given themselves a bit more time, things would have been far easier,” Harbhajan concluded.
India could have had a healthy lead, however, they were rescued from the troubled waters by Cheteshwar Pujara. The right-hander scored a fine 132 runs to bring his maiden century in the England conditions.