Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

Ravichandran Ashwin should be in the playing XI, says Bishan Singh Bedi

Ashwin has 2 Test centuries and 104 wickets  from 18 Tests. (Source: AP File) Ashwin has 2 Test centuries and 104 wickets from 18 Test matches. (Source: AP File)
By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: July 23, 2014 4:02 pm

Impressed by India’s brilliant showing at Lord’s, spin legend Bishen Singh Bedi feels the only trick the team has missed so far in England is not playing Ravichandran Ashwin.

“Ideally, Ashwin should have played in the both the games. Again it’s not Stuart Binny’s fault that he’s been thrust there. He has no utility when he doesn’t even get an over in the second innings,” Bedi told PTI in an interview.

“It’s not about a winning combination, it’s about getting your act together. You don’t pick Ashwin and get Murali (Vijay) to bowl off-spinners, it doesn’t make sense.

Both teams missed out on this front. Of course, England missed out more and India capitalised on it,” said the former left-arm spinner.

Bedi said England are looking “helplessly hopeless” and playing below par cricket but that cannot take anything away from India’s brilliant showing at Lord’s.

“Let’s not take anything away from India. They played brilliantly. And don’t forget they lost the toss also. England played much below par. They look pretty directionless. They look helplessly hopeless,” Bedi said.

If England veterans like Cook, Ian Bell and Stuart Bell were left struggling then Indian youngsters rose to the occasion, he noted.

Bedi said while Indian players are peaking at the right time the English cricketers have had their time.

“When you touch the peak then there is nothing beyond that. You can stay at the top if you are willing but if not then there is no other way than the way down.

What goes up must come down. So the England veterans like Cook, Broad, Andersen, Bell, Prior have all past their peak.” he said.

“But in the case of Indians – Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar — their peak is ahead of them. They haven’t peaked yet, they are on their way up.

It is a cycle and Indians have stayed low for quite sometime. So they can only go up from here,” the spin legend said.

Reacting strongly to the interpretation of the term all-rounder, Bedi was quick to clarify that he does not consider Ravindra Jadeja or Stuart Binny as genuine all-rounders.

“They are not the answer to an all-rounder. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar can score runs. Let’s not confuse this term called an all-rounder.

The one who can find his way into the side purely for his batting and purely for his bowling is a true all-rounder. Same for Ashwin or Jadeja or Binny or Kumar,” he said.

“Ray Lindwall scored 2 Test hundreds against England but nobody called him an all-rounder. He was a bowler. Gary
Sobers, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham they were genuine all-rounders. Let’s not insult the term all-rounder,” said Bedi.

Bedi also came down heavily on England captain Cook saying that it is time for the veteran opener to start thinking as a leader.

“We have seen it against Australia, against Sri Lanka and we have seen it here. He is pretty much bereft of cricketing ideas. He definitely is a good enough player to be in the XI.

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