England vs India | Graeme Swann baffled with Ravindra Jadeja bowling leg-stump line – India missed a trick
Former England spinner Graeme Swann on Monday, July 4 said he was disappointed with the way India used Ravindra Jadeja on a Day 4 pitch while defending 378 against England in the rescheduled 5th Test. Swann questioned Jadeja’s approach of bowling from over the stumps to right-handed batters, saying it was a defensive approach and not something that a lead spinner would do in the 4th innings of a Test match.
India were bowled out for 245 in their 2nd innings but they set a daunting target of 378 to England, who are trailing 1-2 in the series. England rode on a 107-run opening stand between Alex Lees and Zak Crawley. India hit back with 3 quick wickets, including that of Lees and Crawley but England thrived with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow stitching an unbeaten 152-run stand.
England vs India, 5th Test Day 4: Report | Highlights
At Stumps, England were 259 for 3 in just 57 overs, needing just 119 runs for a record-breaking victory in the final Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
India, who opted to for Ravindra Jadeja over R Ashwin for the 5th successive time in England, brought the left-arm spinner into the attack in the 9th over of the innings but he bowled over the wicket to the right-handers.
Jadeja bowled 15 overs and conceded 53 runs without being able to pick up a wicket. The left-arm spinner aimed for the rough patches outside the leg-stump but there wasn’t enough help from them.
“Where I think India missed a trick is Jadeja bowling over the wicket. Ravindra is such a good bowler, he doesn’t need to bowl over the wicket. 100 for 3, chasing 370. There are certain moments in an innings where you have to be ruthless, and identify your time to have a go at the opposition,” Swann told Sony Sports.
“Most of the runs that were scored against him were behind the wicket, that tells me that they didn’t bowl straight enough to him. Jonny Bairstow picked them to the leg-side easily,” he added.
‘I REFUSED TO DO IT’
Swann said he never liked bowling over-the-wicket to right-handers and had refused to do it when he was asked to target a leg-stump line during his glittering career.
The former England off-spinner said the lead spinner should look to win the match in the 4th innings and not bowling a defensive line.
“As a spin bowler, you never convince me that the best way to bowl is outside the batsman’s leg-stump. I hated it when I was asked to do it. I refused it most of the time.
“Your job in the 4th innings, as a spinner, is to win the game for the team. That’s what you are expected to do, or at least take 2-3 wickets, pile on the pressure from one end. You can’t do that, bowling into a foothold without catchers. You are not going to take wickets. I would much rather see India go around the wicket.
“I know the pitch is not doing much, but he is world class, he has got 200 Test wickets. That’s how you win a game for India. You force the batters to play big shots,” he added.
Jadeja showcased his improved batting skills as he hit a hundred after a 222-run counter-attacking partnership in the first innings but the left-arm spinner is yet to make an impact with the bat. A