London: England had moved swiftly to 18 runs shy of India’s first innings paltry total of 148 on Saturday. It was nearly 100 minutes into Day Two and yet the Indian skipper had still not turned to his primary spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
R Ashwin (left) celebrates the wicket of Moeen Ali on Saturday. Pic/AFP.
The ball had stopped swinging or seaming over half an hour ago and MS Dhoni kept persisting with a fatigued Varun Aaron. It was mysterious why Dhoni waited over an hour and a half to introduce Ashwin especially given two set batsmen were both left handers (Alastair Cook and Gary Balance).
Ashwin had said after Day One of the last Test that he wanted to bowl for a long period of time and get into his groove: “I need time to get into my groove. I’m a type of bowler that needs three or four overs to find my rhythm before I can start varying my pace and start trying different things.”
Given Ashwin’s preference to bowling long spells, he should have been brought on a lot earlier in the day with at least some runs to play with. It might not affect the result of the match but Dhoni had wasted an opportunity to allow Ashwin what he can deliver if given his preference.