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India and England spinners like “Chalk and Cheese”, says Sourav Ganguly

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SportsCafe Desk

11/29/2016

Sourav Ganguly has lauded the way the Indian spin trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Jayant Yadav have bowled with discipline in the series, in stark contrast to their England counterparts. Ganguly also expressed surprise at Alastair Cook's tactics in the series to under-use the off-spin of Moeen Ali.

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has pointed at the sea of difference between the spinners on both sides. 

"It's the quality of the spinners from the two sides. There's a massive difference with the way Ashwin bowls, Jadeja bowls and Jayant Yadav bowls and Adil Rashid. It's like chalk and cheese. There are hardly any loose deliveries (from Indians)," Ganguly told India Today.

"Pressure when Indian spinners bowl and pressure when Adil Rashid or Gareth Batty bowl is too much of a difference," he added.

The Indian spinners put in a great all-round show on the third day of the Mohali Test to put the hosts in a commanding position. First, fifties from Ravindra Jadeja (90), Ravichandran Ashwin (72), and Jayant Yadav (55)  saw India take a healthy lead of 134 runs in the first innings. Then, Ashwin and Jayant terrorized England in their second innings to have them reeling at 78/4, by the end of the third day.

Ganguly also felt that the England batsmen have lost the idea of playing with freedom and erred with their shot selection.

"What India has done very well in this series after the first Test, they have bowled off-spinners to the left handers. So on a pitch which is turning, shot selection and playing shots been a huge problem. Alastair Cook's game has changed with those two off-spinners. The sweep shot hasn't been there and the freedom has gone. India have really capitalised five or six left-hand batsmen of this English team," the 43-year old said.

The former skipper is also impressed with newcomer Jayant Yadav's batting after the off-spinner registered scores of 35, 27 not out, and 55 in this series while batting down the order. 

"They (Ashwin and Jadeja) are all-rounders in any case, including Jayant Yadav because he has looked very good in these two Test matches. His batting technique has looked pretty solid. I think they are quite capable players especially in these conditions," Ganguly said.

Giving a single-line review of what he thought about the entire series, the former cricketer said, "I think these two hours in the morning[Day 3] not only sealed the Test matches but also the series” 

The southpaw also expressed surprise at Alastair Cook's decision to under-use the services of Moeen Ali in bowling after the off-spinner bowled just 13 overs in the first innings at Mohali.

"I am really surprised and only Alastair Cook can answer the reason why the way he has used Moeen Ali in this series. I can't imagine Moeen Ali bowling 10, 12, 13 overs in a Test match on pitches which turn square. Whether he's injured or he has lost confidence in him or he's looking at this England team as a batsman, I can't answer that question. But it surprises me the way he has been used. Cook got to find a way to get Mooen Ali back on track. Get his spinners going in these conditions otherwise they'll lose the next two Test matches as well," Ganguly opined.

"They played well in Rajkot but since then it has been a downward slide. Fast bowlers will not pick 20 wickets in India. He got to be aware the last series he won, he had Swann and Panesar getting the wickets for him. He's got to find a way to get Moeen Ali back into the attack," he added.

According to Ganguly's prediction, the third Test match will be over by the fourth day and Joe Root will get a hundred.

"Two hours look pretty long tomorrow on the fourth-day pitch. I am expecting the match to finish by tomorrow. Maybe tea, maybe closer to end of day's play unless somebody steps up and score a big hundred. Joe Root is still there which I think is a blessing for England. He might get a hundred and elongate this defeat but it's only a matter of time," concluded Ganguly.

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