On Monday, former England spinner Graeme Swann said that he was not impressed with the way Team India used their veteran spinner Ravindra Jadeja on a Day 4 pitch while defending 378 against England in the rescheduled fifth and final Test. Swann has also questioned his approach of bowling from over the stumps to right-handed batters, stating that it was a defensive approach and not something one should do in the 4th innings of a Test match.
However, Team India were bundled out for 245 in their 2nd innings but they set a target of 378 to England, who are trailing 1-2 in the series so far as well. On the other hand, England added a 107-run opening stand between Alex Lees and Zak Crawley. Later, Team India picked up 3 quick wickets, including Lees and Crawley but England did well with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow adding an unbeaten 152-run partnership.
Ravindra Jadeja has bowled 15 overs and gave away 53 runs without being able to pick a wicket. He also aimed for the rough patches outside the leg stump but he didn’t get any help from them as well.
“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,” Graeme 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.”
“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 concluded.
However, Ravindra Jadeja has improved his batting skills as he scored a hundred after a 222-run counter-attacking partnership in the first innings but he is yet to leave an impact with the ball as well.