The Telegraph
Thursday , August 7 , 2014
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Bowling an issue: Sunny

- ‘Including Ashwin will make the team stronger’

Calcutta: If the win in the second Test against England at Lord’s would have boosted the confidence of the Indian team, the thrashing in the third would have definitely taken the wind out of their sails.

With the James Anderson verdict going England’s way too, the Indians certainly find themselves in a difficult position.

Sunil Gavaskar feels that India should put behind the Anderson fracas and focus on their game and try and win the fourth Test against England, starting at Manchester on Thursday.

“I have always believed that it should be the bat and the ball that should talk on the field. I think the matter should now be put to rest. I don’t think we should go on and on with it,” Gavaskar told a news channel.

“I believe it is a new Match Referee for this last two Test matches. And if Ranjan Madugalle could do justice to the game of cricket and tell the players that from this game onwards no verbals should be heard from anybody on the field, it should give Anderson and other players a belief that you cannot get away with it.

“Let’s put what has happened in the past to rest and look at the future. I know India will put the Jadeja-Anderson spat behind them. This is what good players do. I am sure Dhoni and his boys will focus on the next ball,” he added.

A miffed BCCI had requested ICC CEO David Richardson to appeal against the verdict of Judicial Commissioner Gordon Lewis AM, who had found both the players (Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja) not guilty of breaching ICC’s code of conduct during the first Test at Trent Bridge. Richardson, though, rejected BCCI’s review plea.

Gavaskar had words of advice for the Indian batsmen. He said the batsmen should play the ball as late as possible at Old Trafford.

“The secret is to play as late as possible at Manchester because the ball keeps moving in England and a lot of our batsmen keep pushing at the balls that they should be leaving. I think it is important to adept the mindset to play session wise and not think about scoring 30s or 50s,” said Gavaskar, who scored a century against England at Old Trafford in 1974.

Gavaskar said India should include off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the team. “Bowling is an issue… The Indian bowlers have allowed England to pile up runs. We need to go with the best bowling option.

“When other teams come to India they don’t pick spinners because Indian pitches provides turn, they pick the bowlers who can get the 20 wickets and that is what India should be looking to do.

“Ashwin is also good with the bat… Don’t forget that he has got two Test hundreds. I don’t think if he is included, the team will be weaker. The team will only get stronger,” he said.