On day 4 of the ongoing test match between India and England, the latter stonewalled their way to reach 87-2 in almost 60 overs.
The pair of novice Hameed and Cook subdued the threat of the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin on a weathering day 4 pitch. But amidst all this, there is a point which many of cricket-loving aficionados can easily miss and that is the exclusion of the wily leggie, Amit Mishra.
We agree that he was ineffective in the first test match, but so were Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. In fact, Mishra was the best Indian tweaker in the 2nd innings of the first test. His exclusion on the basis of just one poor performance on a pitch which was tailor-made for batting is nothing shorter than blasphemous.
In recent times, Mishra may not have some great performances to show for but for a guy coming from a successful ODI series where he scalped 15 wickets in just 5 matches, he should have been persisted with given the quality and variety he offers to the bowling line-up.
The captain, Virat, emphasized the presence of 7 left-handers in the England squad which in turn prompted him to go for the more traditional offie Jayant Yadav.
Let’s see the quality and experience of these 7 English left-handers. They are Alastair Cook, Ben Duckett, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Out of these 7, only two of them are specialist batsmen namely Cook and Duckett.
Three of the above seven are bowlers and only two of the above can boast of a batting average of 35+ runs per innings whereas the right-handers in the team are Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Haseeb Hameed and Adil Rashid. Two of them are the highest run-getter in tests in 2016. And three of them are specialist batsmen.
So, just the presence of left-handers does not justify the selection of Jayant Yadav at all and when it’s at the expense of Amit Mishra, then some serious questions are to be answered by the team management.
In the ongoing test, Jayant Yadav has been brilliant with the bat, but opportunities with ball in the hand have been far in between. He has just bowled 16 overs. The number of overs is way too less for a finger spinner as most of them take some time to get into an impactful form.
And, we are damn sure that he was not picked because of his batting pedigree.
Above all, the case of Amit Mishra, who has been India’s most impactful leg-spinner over the past few years, is a clear case of mismanagement by the team management.
His performances in the limited-overs format and moreover, his shrewdness with the ball must be rewarded with a longer run in the test format.