India Haven't Played With Balanced Bowling Attack: Madan Lal
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India Haven’t Played With Balanced Bowling Attack: Madan Lal

Madan Lal, Hamilton ODI
Madan Lal. Image credit: Deccan Chronicle

Madan Lal, the former all-rounder reckons India should have played two spinners and included an extra fast bowler, believing it would have given their attack more ‘balance’.

Madan Lal is not convinced the way India assembled their best Playing XI for the first Test against England in Chennai. Madan Lal, who is a former India coach reckons the team should have played two spinners and included an extra fast bowler in XI.

Madan Lal
Madan Lal (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Madan Lal on India’s bowling attack:

Virat Kohli-led India instead played two pacers in Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, while picking Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem as the three spinners on a placid Chennai surface.

Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem. Getty Images

“I think India have not played with a balanced bowling attack,” Madan Lal told Sports Tak during a conversation.

Kuldeep Yadav, a ‘match-winner’, could have played alongside off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and all-rounder Washington Sundar in the 1st Test against England but India went for Shahbaz Nadeem instead.

The 26-year-old chinaman hasn’t played a single Test match since the one against Australia in January 2019. He debuted in Tests way back in 2017 but has featured in only 6 Tests where he picked 24 scalps averaging 24.12, which isn’t poor by any standard besides he is a left-arm spinner and India doesn’t boast of many spinners in that category.

Madan Lal: Ishant Sharma Has Only Just Returned From Injury So It Would Have Been Wise To Play Him After 1 Or 2 Tests

One of the other combinations India could have gone ahead with for the Chennai Test, believes Madan Lal, is giving Shardul Thakur a go in place of Washington Sundar.

“They should have played with three pacers and two spinners. Ishant Sharma has only just returned from an injury, so it would have been wise to play him after 1-2 Tests. They also dropped Mohammed Siraj, who bowled so well in Australia.”

There were surprises over India picking left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem over the more experienced Kuldeep Yadav. The wrist-spinner picked up a five-wicket haul in the last Test he played for India but the think tank gave the nod to Shahbaz Nadeem, who’s played just one Test for India before.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“If you wanted to bat deep, you could have played Shardul Thakur ahead of Washington Sundar and could have gone with Kuldeep Yadav over Shahbaz Nadeem,” Madan Lal pointed out.

England finished Day 1 on 263/3 with skipper Joe Root scoring his 20th Test century and Madan Lal believed that if the visitors can finish somewhere around 450, India will have some work to do.

“Joe Root has scored a really significant hundred. If England are able to reach the score of 450, the pressure might be on India,” Lal added.

England are currently 497/6 with Joe Root scoring 218. All the trio Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shahbaz Nadeem have taken 2 wickets apiece.