Former England player Graeme Swann has said that he was not happy with the way England used veteran left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the second session on Day 1 of the rescheduled fifth and final Test against India in Birmingham as well. He also asked questions on the field settings for Leach against Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja as they both steadied the ship later on and led the team to a decent total before the stumps as well.
“Well, it was a gamble. That’s proved to be the point. If you’re bowling spin, Jack Leach has come off a 10-wicket match against New Zealand at Headingly on a very different pitch where the ball was turning. This one isn’t,” Swann told Sony Sports on Friday.
“I don’t mind bringing the spinner if it’s a right-hander. Leave your mid-on and mid-off up because the angle might take it away and you might mishit it. But Rishabh Pant, if it’s not turning, he is going to hit through the line. There is no spin as such, you’re actually making it easier to relieve the pressure,” he continued.
“The new way is we are not going to put a deep fielder. I don’t think that works. I am more of a fan of having your mid-on float, having him three-quarters back. Say ‘if you do want to come down, you have to hit me against the spin. You have to hit over mid-off’. But they didn’t do that. What I believe that has done is just free up Jadeja and Pant to sore quite freely in that session and get India right back into the session. If there’s a shot that the batter likes, you cut that shot off. When they did get mid-on back, the two batters were more circumspect,” he further added about Rishabh Pant.
However, Rishabh Pant got to his 10th Test half-century in just 51 balls and later smashed a century before getting out for 146 off 111 with 20 fours and 4 sixes.