Former England spin bowler Graeme Swann criticised Ravindra Jadeja for bowling over the wicket against England on the fourth day of the ongoing fifth Test at the Edgbaston in Birmingham.
India were bowled out for 245 in the second innings with the fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara (66) and Rishabh Pant (57) setting England a humungous target of 378. England openers Alex Lees (56) and Zak Crawley (46) laid the foundation for the potential record chase with their opening stand of 107. The duo had a clear intent of scoring runs at pace as England reached 100 in 20 overs.
It took a nip backer from Jasprit Bumrah to crash into Crawley’s defence and break the threatening stand just before the tea break. Bumrah wasn’t done and dismissed Ollie Pope on the first ball of the third session of the day. Pope tickled Bumrah’s angling delivery behind the stumps and departed for a nought. In the next over, Lees was run out in a mix-up with Joe Root, the latter was at the fault for his misjudged call.
Root in alliance with Jonny Bairstow brought the hosts back into the game as England didn’t lose any wicket further in the day. Root and Bairstow held their nerves and played the conventional shots, which wasn’t even relating to the profound Bazball theory. The duo stitched 150 runs for the fourth wicket as England are 119 runs away from breaking numerous records in the red-ball format.
Ravindra Jadeja bowling over the wicket is where India missed the trick
Jadeja, India’s lone spinner in their formidable attack, bowled 15 overs and conceded 53 runs without picking any wicket. In his bowling, Jadeja convinced vice-captain Rishabh Pant to use a DRS for a Joe Root lbw call. Root missed the sweep shot and the ball struck in front of the stumps. As Jadeja was bowling over the wicket, the ball pitched outside the leg stump line and India lost the review.
“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 said on Sony Sports Network.
“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.
You are not going to take wickets bowling outside the leg stump: Ravindra Jadeja
Swann, who picked 255 wickets for England in 60 Tests, said he was against bowling outside the leg stump line and believes Jadeja should change the side and mount pressure on their opponents by taking wickets.
“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,” Swann said.
“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.
The final day of the fifth Test will be intriguing to watch as a draw would be the least possible result for this enthralling contest.