Even with inexperienced Indian spinners Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin sharing all five wickets among themselves on Day One of the Delhi Test, legendary Erapalli Prasanna feels they tried to contain rather than taking wickets
At close of Day One of the first Test in Delhi, West Indies were 256 for five. And the fact that all five wickets went to the spinners may make one feel that Indian tweakers have done reasonably well. Even the selectors must be relieved that their decision to drop Harbhajan Singh won't be questioned further after two young spinners shared the spoils on the first day itself.
Three cheers: Pragyan Ojha led from the front yesterday. Pic/Getty
Left-arm orthodox Pragyan Ojha, who has played 11 Tests, claimed three wickets conceding 58 in his 29 overs while his partner, debutant off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed a couple giving away 79 in his 25 overs.
Not two bad: R Ashwin exults after taking a wicket yesterday. Pic/AFP
Do these statistics indicate that India are still the masters of spin bowling even after Anil Kumble's retirement and Harbhajan's axe? Can they capitalise on the slowness of wickets in the subcontinent and deceive the batsmen? Legendary Erapalli Prasanna though doesn't feel they haven't done anything which can excite the cricket aficionados.
"When I see spinners these days, the only impression I get is that they are trying to contain batsmen rather than going for wickets. They should try and fool the batsmen and get wickets in the process. It wasn't any different even at the Kotla today. They (Ojha and Ashwin) never went for wickets," Prasanna told MiD DAY.
On whether Harbhajan should have played at Feroz Shah Kotla, the the 71-year-old countered with a question. "You tell me what has he done of late? You want to pick players by their names or by form? Harbhajan was nowhere near his best in recent times and so it's the right decision to try out youngsters against the West Indies, keeping in mind some tough tours ahead," Prasanna said.
The former India offie seemed frustrated with the current state of affairs in the country. Asked when did he last see a quality spinner, he shot back. Frankly speaking I cannot remember when I last saw a quality spinner in our country. Actually you people (media) will know better. If you find one, please let me know," Prasanna said sarcastically.