Shane Warne believes that a team should always play a specialist spinner in their XI regardless of conditions. He further stressed on their crucial role, especially in the second innings, after Moeen Ali’s crucial strikes on Day 4 of the ongoing Lord's Test put England back in the contest.
Virat Kohli and the management decided to go with a 4-1 seam-spin combination at Lord's, much like they did at Trent Bridge. Ravindra Jadeja, given his prime batting form, once again got a nod ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin. While Ashwin’s exclusion was largely attributed to the seam-friendly conditions, Moeen Ali’s spell in India’s second innings has once again reignited the debate.
The pitch has progressively got slower in the game, and the visitors will rely on Jadeja’s left-arm spin, as much on their four seamers. On Day 4, Moeen dismissed a well set Ajinkya Rahanefor 61, before sending back an in-form Jadeja with an absolute peach. The left-hander pressed forward to a good-length delivery on middle and leg, which took enough turn after pitching to take the top of off-stump - an off-spinner’s delight.
Shane Warne attested that a specialist spinner is a must-have under any playing conditions, given his game-changing abilities.
"A spinner turning the game!!!! Surprise, surprise, this is why you always play a spinner no matter what the conditions! Remember you don’t pick a team just for the first innings. Spin to win," the 51-year-old tweeted.
On Sunday, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane built a century stand to keep India’s hopes alive, after they had been reduced to 55/3. The Australian legend was highly impressed with the pair, as he reveled in the “ebbs and flows of Test cricket”.
"Can there still be a result in this test match at Lords or will it be a draw? India need 250 runs ahead to declare - but time running out. Terrific character shown by Pujara & Rahane to fight back & put India ahead!!! Love the ebbs & flows of Test cricket," Warne tweeted.