Overlooked Indian spinner, Harbhajan Singh blamed ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and said that India had lost the fourth and penultimate Test match due to some failure from the spinner’s end.
However, Harbhajan thinks that if Ashwin had taken just two or three scalps in the second innings of the fourth Test, then India would get a target of fewer than 200 runs.
Ashwin had picked up seven wickets in the first Test match of the five-match Test series at Edgbaston in Birmingham. After that Ashwin managed to pick four more wickets in the last three Test matches.
“There was so much help available on this wicket (Southampton) for the off-spinners. Just landing the ball at that particular rough patch would have fetched a lot of wickets. That is exactly what Moeen Ali did and got so many wickets. India lost the match where Moeen Ali bowled better than R Ashwin. For the first time, I saw England spinners bowling better than our spinners. Him (Ashwin) not being able to take wickets is the reason why we are 1-3 behind in the series.”Harbhajan told India Today.
Ashwin had injured himself during the third Test at Trent Bridge:
However, Harbhajan Singh said the management team should have a thorough look into it. Furthermore, he also added that if Ravichandran Ashwin is hundred per cent fit, then he should have bowled like being a senior bowler.
“I really don’t know how serious was Ashwin’s injury. If it was serious then the team management should have known it. And if he was really fit then he failed to bowl like it was expected of him. Moeen Ali was making a comeback in the England team and won the Man of the Match award,” he stated.
“He is a very good bowler though does not rate himself so highly. He will always bowl better than the rest as his trajectory is very good. Indian team has not been able to find any solution to his bowling since 2014 when he performed exceptionally well against us at the same venue,” he concluded.
India will play their fifth and final Test match against England on September 7, 2018, at the Oval in London.