January 24, 2012 8:47:29 pm
With India looking down the barrel yet again,former captain Sourav Ganguly feels the struggling visitors should have played two spinners in the ongoing fourth and final Test against Australia as the conditions here appear to be “closest to subcontinent”.
Captain Michael Clarke (140) and Ricky Ponting (137) struck unbeaten centuries to power Australia to 335 for three at stumps on day 1 after winning the toss.
And Ganguly was quick to point out that stand-in India skipper Virender Sehwag made a mistake by not playing left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha in the match.
“Looking at the pitch in the morning,I felt India should have gone in with two spinners as the combination of three quicks had not been able to put enough pressure on the Aussie batting as one of them have faltered at some stage or the other in the series,” Ganguly wrote in his column for ‘The Age’.
“Not only have the Indian quicks not picked up wickets but they haven’t stemmed the flow of runs and that’s why Pragyan Ojha would have been a good choice on this pitch.
“The pitches in Melbourne,Sydney and Perth had a lot more movement and this one was the closest to subcontinent conditions. He (Ojha) is a very good bowler in all conditions and deserved to play this Test,as with time in such heat this pitch will start turning,” he added.
Citing the example of Ravichandran Ashwin’s (2/81) early exploits in the match,the cricketer-turned-commentator said Ojha would have been a good option for Sehwag on this track.
“Even more so after lunch India could have made good use of his (Ojha’s) services. The other spinner,Ravichandran Ashwin,bowled a lot better here then he has throughout the series. He looked in control until Ponting and Clarke got after him in the hour before tea and Sehwag would have loved to have the option of another spinner once that shine went off the new ball.
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