Team India's loss against Australia in the first Test match came under huge criticism and the latest to join the debate is former Indian captain Mohd Azaharuddin.
He said “Any batting debacle leaves a team on the backfoot. I am not saying the series is lost but one needs to look at the kind of track that you want to play. I reckon Chinnaswamy won’t have this kind of turn. So my gut feeling is that Jayant Yadav and Ishant Sharma may be dropped from the playing XI.”
While explaining what should be the ideal changes for the upcoming match, Azhar said “Also on the tracks that we are playing, Ishant’s back of the length stuff is not going to work. It is better that a swing bowler like Bhuvneshwar is brought into the team by Virat.”
“I think a similar pitch was prepared when Michael Clarke got his 6 for 9 in Mumbai. This was a bad pitch to bat on. But I am not at all happy with how the spinners bowled on a track like this -- especially Ravindra Jadeja,” he added.
Azharuddin also praised Steve O’Keefe for his match-winning effort and said he showed how to bowl on these turners. “O’Keefe bowled the line that Jadeja should have bowled. If you looked at Jadeja’s line, it was on off-stump or slightly outside the off-stump trying to make use of the rough. That was where he made the mistake. On this track, Jadeja’s channel would have never got him wickets and that’s precisely what has happened,” he said.
“Now what did O’Keefe bowl? He bowled on the middle and leg line and didn’t try for big turn. The batsmen can’t leave such deliveries. As a result, he got four lbw decisions. An orthodox left-arm spinner when he is getting 4 lbws means that he was bowling straight, knowing pitch will do the rest. The Indians in their mind were all playing for the turn. It meant, O’Keefe read the pitch better than Jadeja. As far as Ashwin is concerned, 100 plus runs on this track is poor show,” the 54-year-old told.
Australian captain Steve Smith scored the solitary century of this match and Azharuddin was in full praise for him while saying “I believe this was one of the best Test hundreds scored on a bad pitch. This is not something Aussies are used to. Even if you do hours of match simulation, it’s very different while playing a Test match. Smith didn’t try and play for the turn. What he did was playing Jadeja’s incoming deliveries not thinking it would turn. That was the trick.”
He concluded while saying the Indian batsmen showed a lack of application and also Aussie spinners were better than England. “Against England on better tracks, they got one loose ball per over from guys like Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. Here they didn’t get loose deliveries. The application needed to be far better. I am not saying you could just come down the track and attack mindlessly. That doesn’t happen always. But on a turner, you don’t play for the turn. Indian batsmen erred exactly in that area,” he quoted.