It's time to consider Jadeja India's No. 1 spinner, says Dilip Doshi
If there is a provision to play only one spinner, it should be Jadeja because he is most likely to deliver on the line and length basis consistently and keep the runs down as well, says the former Indian spinner Dilip Doshi
Former India left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi reckons it's high time Ravindra Jadeja is considered the first choice spinner for Team India as he has performed well enough to stop playing second fiddle to Ravichandran Ashwin.
"If there is a provision to play only one spinner, it should be Jadeja because he is most likely to deliver on the line and length basis consistently and keep the runs down as well. The captain can shut the game or at least control the game from one end. Jadeja picks himself automatically and has proved that he should be there [in the side as the first spinner]," Doshi told mid-day here yesterday.
UK-based Doshi is in Rajkot for the opening Test of the two-match India v West Indies series. After playing for Bengal in the early part of his career, the bespectacled spinner represented Saurashtra, the state of his birth.
Of the 10 Test matches that India have played in the year, Jadeja has figured in only three. Two out of those were played at home [Afghanistan and West Indies] and one overseas — last month's Oval Test against England — the only instance of him getting a look-in ahead of Ashwin. At the London venue, Jadeja got seven wickets and scored 86 not out in the first innings.
Doshi, 70, slammed Ashwin for experimenting too much in Tests. "You have to decide whether you are an off-spinner or leg-spinner. As soon as you experiment, you allow batsmen to get off the hook. Test cricket is all about consistency," said Doshi, who claimed 114 wickets in 33 Tests. He was India's chief spinner from 1979 to 1981. He played his last Test in 1983.
The former Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire spinner remarked: "Moeen Ali was successful [for England] because he has a classic side-on action and could relentlessly bowl in a particular area which troubled us. Our spinner [Ashwin] experimented a lot and gave them the freedom. The series could have been 3-2 and not 4-1 had our bowlers not allowed the last four [England] wickets to flourish. The body language showed we became complacent."
Doshi felt chinaman Kuldeep Yadav needs to fine-tune his bowling. "Kuldeep is a very good bowler in the making. At the moment, he appears too slow in the air and gives the batsman time to adjust. He needs to fine-tune his bowling. It will come with experience and a little guidance. No spin bowler can afford to be too slow in the air. You have to propel a spinning ball what we call as firki in India. Very few people are able to do it because their action is not side-on.
"Most spinners try to adjust their action according to the format. And that's how they ruin themselves. Just like how your handwriting does not change, your style cannot change. It's a muscle memory," Doshi signed off.
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