Former Pakistan batter Salman Butt feels that the debate over whether Ravichandran Ashwin should have played in the Lord’s Test is a pointless one. He claimed that when a move doesn’t work, there is a human tendency to think that the move was a wrong one.
For the second game in a row, India went in with Ravindra Jadeja as their lone spinner ahead of Ashwin. The left-arm spinner is yet to claim a wicket in the series. He bowled 22 overs in the first innings of the Lord’s Test. and ended with figures of 0 for 43.
Asked whether the decision to not play Ashwin was a mistake, Butt replied on his YouTube channel:
“When plans don’t work out, people always feel that the person sitting outside should have been in and vice-versa. These are afterthoughts, when the results of the decision start coming in. But when India picked four fast bowlers, their aim was to bowl first.”
“Virat Kohli also mentioned this after he lost the toss. Personally, at Lord’s, Ravichandran Ashwin could have been as effective as any other fast bowler. On the last two days, spinners get a lot of purchase at this venue. Because of the slope, at times, England batters found it difficult against Ravindra Jadeja as well.”
Butt did opine that Ashwin is a better spinner than Jadeja, and could have brought a different dimension to the Indian attack.
“Ashwin is definitely a much better spinner that Jadeja. He could have offered a different variety being a specialist spinner. But things always seem wiser in hindsight. If India go on to win this Test, then everything will seem fine again. There are still two days left in the Test. You never know,” he added.
Hope India don’t regret not playing Ashwin: Danish Kaneria
Unlike his compatriot Salman Butt, former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria feels India have made a big mistake by not including Ravichandran Ashwin in their playing XI in the ongoing Lord’s Test. While Kaneria admitted that India have a very good pace attack, he added that Ashwin is in a different league altogether.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Kaneria said:
“I want to talk about the magician, Ashwin. How is he not playing? I’ve been saying this from day 1 that Ashwin needs to play at Lord’s. He has variations, can bowl from different angles. He has the carrom balls, and the way the pitch is turning out to be – we saw this with Moeen Ali, we saw that with Ravindra Jadeja. Ashwin has a good height, gets good bounce, and the slope would have helped him even further.”
“Ravindra Jadeja can contain runs, but Ashwin has bowled well .and picked wickets on all kinds of surfaces. Not including Ashwin, I fee,l is a mistake by India. I hope that after this Test match, India don’t regret not playing Ashwin,” Kaneria added.
Meanwhile, the Lord’s Test has effectively become a second-innings tussle. with England posting 391 in response to India’s first-innings total of 364.