Ravindra Jadeja on Thursday stood firmly behind under-fire spinner Ravichandran Ashwin stating that it’s not the responsibility alone of the Tamil Nadu tweaker to get England to get all the wickets.

On first two days, there wasn’t great help for the spinners from the SCA Stadium track. Ashwin went for 167 runs from 46 overs with only two wickets to show for his efforts as England scored 537 with help of centuries from Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes.

“We have five bowlers and all five bowlers have the responsibility and not only Ashwin. As it happens sometimes chances go down, it’s all part of the game. Everyone is responsible in equal measure.”

Jadeja had the best figures amongst the five Indian bowlers ending with 3/86 from 30 overs but on the second day got to bowl only 9 overs.

Asked about it, the local lad sidestepped the issue.

“That was captain’s thinking. He must have had his own reasons looking from the team’s point of view. I don’t think it was his plan to deliberately bowl (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Amit) Mishra more.”

While praising the hundred made by Stokes, he also pointed out that the left-hander was dropped twice by Wriddhiman Saha on individual scores of 60 and 61 respectively.

“He played very well and played according to merit. Initially, he was struggling against Umesh (Yadav), but after that he played calmly. Whenever a catch has been dropped, it has often happened a batsman will go on to score a century.

Stokes got two chances and then a few fell in no man’s land, but these things are common in cricket.”

Jadeja also felt that losing the toss was crucial here.

“I think the toss (that India lost) took away the game (from us). Everyone knows that on the first two days the Rajkot wicket suits batsmen and after that the spinners come into play. That’s all I can say,” added Jadeja when asked out of the three century knocks which one was the most crucial one.

“As the game progresses, pitch will get slower. From one end, where there are some foot marks, deliveries can spin. But the middle portion has remained the same. Yesterday and today, the fast bowlers had some help but over the next few days the wicket will become slower,” he added.

He looked optimistically after India were kept on the field by England for five sessions.

“We now have to make the runs put on board (by England). Tomorrow is crucial for us we have to play positive cricket. We have to play normal cricket according to the merit of the ball,” said Jadeja, after the second day’s play at the SCA Stadium here today.

Asked about England’s superb batting display here as compared to their losing all ten wickets in the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Jadeja said that the two tracks were totally different in nature.

“The surfaces are different — Bangladesh and here. There the ball was turning sharp and here the odd ball was turning yesterday and today. Both surfaces are very different,” he said.

Don’t expect Ashwin to pick 5-wicket hauls regularly: Ganguly

Former captain Sourav Ganguly feels that India’s pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami have to lift their game as one can’t expect Ravichandran Ashwin or a Ravindra Jadeja to pick fifers consistently on good pitches against quality opposition.

“On a Day 1 pitch like this (Rajkot), the fast bowlers need to come into play. That’s why I keep harping that play on good pitches in India, so that you learn how to play overseas,” Ganguly told ESPN Cricinfo.

Not one to hold back, the straight talking former skipper said that pitches that they played against South Africa (2015) and Australia (2013) were absolute “minefields” (common terminology for underprepared tracks).

He also pointed out that it will be impossible for Ashwin to get five—wicket hauls consistently.

“We played South Africa. Four Tests on minefields and it doesn’t help anyone. If India play 5 Test matches on good pitches and Anil Kumble gets Shami, Yadav and Ishant to pick three wickets on the first day, India will become a better side. Because you don’t expect Ravichandran Ashwin or a Ravindra Jadeja on a flat pitch against a good batting side to pick five wickets. They might do it once or twice but it is impossible for them to do it consistently,” he stated.

Ganguly feels that India won’t grow if the skipper tosses up the ball to a spinner on rank turner and match finishes in three days.

“No point just tossing the ball upto the spinners and pitches which turn square from Day 1. You win and go home. It doesn’t help anyone and it doesn’t help this young side. I am happy that they are going through this grind. It’s a young side. You don’t need to win Test match in 3 days, you need to win Test matches in five days, you still won a Test match,” he was categorical in his assessment.

Senior off—spinner Harbhajan Singh had been critical of the pitches that India have played in the last few years and Ganguly also spoke in same vein.

“It’s still early days in this match but I completely agree that pitches against Australia and South Africa were absolute minefields. I remember the Test match in Delhi (vs Australia) where it ended in 3 days. You can’t produce Test pitches like these. I believe what’s happening is good for Indian cricket.”

As a president of CAB, Ganguly said that he was impressed that Virat Kohli not for once asked for a turner when India played against New Zealand at Kolkata.

“They played against New Zealand, I got no request from anyone. When Kohli met me, he asked me about the pitch, I said, “There’s a bit of grass on it. I kept watching him, what he did, first hand, three days that they were training. These are signs that will help them get better.” Courtesy :PTI

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Author: sarkarimirror