The Telegraph
Saturday , August 2 , 2014
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‘Jadeja isn’t a strike bowler’

New Delhi: Legendary off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna on Friday questioned India’s logic behind ignoring Ravichandran Ashwin and termed the team management’s move to play Ravindra Jadeja as a strike bowler a “disastrous” one.

“Jadeja should play in all Tests but only as a stock bowler. He is not a wicket-taker.

“Jadeja’s capability as a spinner doesn’t make him a strike bowler. Now if the team management forces a stock bowler to become a strike bowler, then disaster is waiting to happen,” Prasanna said.

“Ashwin should have played in all three Test matches. From my experience of playing in England, I can tell you that even if Ashwin plays at Old Trafford, he will come good at The Oval, which can assist spinners.

Jadeja should be used as a supporting option with Ashwin in lead role,” the 74-year-old, who has 189 Test victims from 49 Tests, said.

Jadeja has so far taken only 8 wickets bowling 142.3 overs in three Test matches.

“Doesn’t the figures say it all! If a bowler needs more than 100 balls to get a wicket means that a batsmen is getting well settled by that time.

“Have you seen Jadeja beat the bat of any leading batsmen consistently unless there is some turn and bite on offer from the 22 yards? If not then how can you solely depend on Jadeja?” questioned the former great.

Asked about the reason for Ashwin’s exclusion from the playing XI, Prasanna said: “I don’t know what are the considerations while selecting a playing XI.

“But this shows lack of faith. You must have faith in Ashwin for him to deliver.

“If Ashwin has reached 100 wickets in quickest time, there must be some reason behind it. Look at England. They showed faith in that young boy Moeen and he has delivered.”

Prasanna is of the opinion that India should play two spinners irrespective of the conditions.

“If we compare our seamers to that of England, they certainly have a more potent attack than ours.

“Both Stuart Broad and James Anderson can consistently bowl close to 140 kmph and use the short ball sparingly.

“If you can swing the ball at that pace, it’s not easy to remove the bat as batsmen have a propensity to hang their bats,” he said.