Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin demanded changes in the rule of the leg before wicket (LBW). India lost the fifth Test against England by seven wickets as the hosts chased their total of 378 in the red-ball format.
England rode on phenomenal centuries by Joe Root (142) and Jonny Bairstow (114) after Jasprit Bumrah created tensions on Day 4 with the ball. Root and Bairstow played conventional shots and held their nerves in an unbeaten 269-run stand.
It’s extremely unfair that it’s not ruled lbw: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ashwin missed the rescheduled fifth Test as Ravindra Jadeja was preferred ahead of him in the Indian team.
On Day 4 of the rescheduled Test, Root attempted to play a reverse sweep shot off Jadeja’s bowling but the ball pinned the batter on the pads in front of the stumps. The umpire turned down the Indian fielders’ appeal for an LBW shout.
Jadeja convinced vice-captain Rishabh Pant to opt for DRS, however, as Jadeja was bowling over the wicket, the ball pitched outside the leg stump line and India lost the review.
“Please play your reverse sweeps, but give us (bowlers) lbw!” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. “How can you say it’s not lbw when you turn (your body and it’s no longer a blind spot). It’s only a blind spot when you are at your normal stance. Once you play the reverse sweep or switch hit, it’s no longer a blind spot. It’s extremely unfair that it’s not ruled lbw.”
Ashwin took to an indoor net to demonstrate how Jadeja pitched the deliveries outside leg-stump while bowling to Root and Bairstow.
“Root tried the reverse sweep 10 times initially and for the first nine times, he couldn’t connect. The 10th time the ball rolled off under the edge. Bairstow just padded those balls away,” Ashwin said.
“As a bowler, I tell the batsman my line of attack (over or around the stumps), and I am giving a clear glimpse of my field too. You front up as a right-handed batsman but switch to a left-hander,” Ashwin added.
Ravichandran Ashwin explains what is wrong with the blind spot rule
Ashwin said If batters change their batting stance to play unorthodox shots then they don’t get the provision of playing under a blind spot. As LBW rules dismiss the balls pitched outside leg-stump even though it hits the stumps.
“Try telling Joe Root that if the ball comes from outside leg stump and hits your pad, it’s not a blind spot. If I play it from my original stance, it’s a blind spot. But if I turn around, then it’s not a blind spot – it’s front-on,” the veteran spinner said.
“The moment you turn around you are front-on. My question is not whether he can play reverse sweep or not, whether it’s negative bowling strategy or not (bowling outside leg stump), my point is about lbw. It’s extremely unfair that it’s not ruled lbw,” he added.