Indian spinner R Ashwin is having an ordinary Test series against England. He has failed to impress despite a thundering start to this series.
The off-spinner had picked up 7 wickets in the first game. But in last three games, Ashwin could only manage to pick up just 4 wickets. It's not that the lanky spinner hasn't got enough bowling. Ashwin has bowled second most overs in this series after James Anderson (19 wickets). The English pacer has bowled 140.1 overs, just three balls more than Indian ace spinner.
The blame for India's loss in Southampton was partially on Ashwin because he couldn't produce a decent spell. When Moeen Ali was successful in causing havoc, the 31-year-old was nowhere near his best.
A strike rate of 76.1 in this series shows how awfully Ashwin has struggled. He could have turned out to be a match winner for India in the fourth Test and India would have leveled the series. But the truth is, they are 3-1 down now and series is already out of their hands.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly also lashed out at the experienced spinner for not using the spin-friendly conditions. He felt Ashwin was impatient.
"Virat Kohli will have to talk to Ashwin about why he looks so impatient. He is bowling six different deliveries in an over. Ability-wise Moeen Ali is not better than Ashwin. Rather Ashwin is twice as good as Ali as a spinner," Ganguly told India TV.
He added: "But Ali keeps his bowling simple. On the other hand, Ashwin keeps experimenting with the doosra, wrong'un and leg-spin rather than utilizing the rough. Sometimes in Test cricket, you have to become boring to win matches."
Virat was criticized for not playing two spinners, but Ganguly came in his support. "In my opinion, the selection for the fourth Test was alright. The ball was turning from the footmarks outside the right-hander's off-stump. The ball wasn't turning at right-angles when Ali was bowling to the left-handed Pant. Jadeja's record outside India is not great anyway and the pitch wasn't suited for two spinners," Ganguly added.
"A spinner will have to use the rough patches when playing outside India. When I was the captain, at times I used to bowl Harbhajan Singh ahead of Anil Kumble because I wanted him to use that rough."
India may play Ravindra Jadeja for the last Test which is starting September 7 at Oval, London.