Nagpur, (Mail Today): India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has drawn a lot of flak in the ongoing series, the latest reason being his decision to go into the fourth Test with just one pacer in Ishant Sharma.
India included Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla in the playing XI on Thursday, making it a fourpronged spin attack, R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha being the other two, with Sharma being the lone ranger in pace department.
Pacers Parvinder Awana and Ashoke Dinda were overlooked. It was expected that either Chawla or Jadeja will be included in the team but both getting a place has raised several eyebrows. The wicket has hardly shown signs of appreciable turn on the first day while the bounce has been variable, something that Ishant exploited well for his two wickets in the morning.
“It is a wrong decision,” spin legend Erapalli Prasanna told Mail Today. “If you take three spinners then toss becomes crucial as you would like to bowl last, but that has also not happened here. It is India who would now be batting last,” he added.
“On a wicket like this that has a variable bounce they should have gone with one more fast bowler.
The ball is keeping low and strokemaking is difficult. They needed a fast bowler who could bowl a tight line. You needed someone to tie one end up that would have made batting difficult. It would have served the purpose better.” In Mumbai, India played with three spinners but the move backfired.
Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar looked more lethal than their Indian counterparts.
“Don’t forget England have two quality bowlers in their side. With India batting last, it will be a challenge for them,” Prasanna said.
“Our bowlers have generally tried to bowl a restrictive line in the series and looked for leg before decisions. That has not been the case with Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar as they have bowled an attacking line.” Jadeja has been considered an effective bowler in the shorter format, but the two triple centuries he scored in first class cricket understandably tilted the scales in his favour.
“There is not going to be much runs in this wicket. I can understand if all the four bowlers are quality bowlers. Ashwin and Ojha are good but the other two are new,” Prasanna said.
“Jadeja is a product of the shorter version (IPL) of the game, where you are basically looking to save runs. So his temperament will be tested here. India has to bowl an attacking line to get wickets.”