England commentator David Lloyd has questioned India’s selection for the ongoing Lord’s Test match. India decided to play with four fast bowlers in Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami and thus have a long tail.
However, more importantly Ashwin will be missed as an off-spinner. Ashwin has been in good form in the overseas conditions and thus it has been surprising to note that he has been excluded from the final XI. Furthermore, the Lord’s pitch is providing assistance to the spinners as Moeen Ali scalped two wickets.
Ali got the big wicket of Ajinkya Rahane who was settled at the crease and had scored 61 runs. Subsequently, the off-spinner provided another breakthrough when he squared in-form Ravindra Jadeja and hit the top of off-stump. The England spinner was getting help of the surface and did trouble the Indian batsmen in the fag end of the penultimate day.
On the other hand, Ravindra Jadeja has been ineffective with the ball in the series as he has failed to pick a solitary wicket. Thus, there is no doubt that India will miss the services of Ravichandran Ashwin on the final day as he would have been a handful.
David Lloyd wrote for Daily Mail, “Mid-afternoon on Day Four and Moeen Ali just started to get the ball to turn. He took two huge wickets, the second with a jaffa to dismiss Ravindra Jadeja. It’s what you’d expect from a Test pitch but neither captain thought there would be spin here pre-match. So will India regret leaving out Ravichandran Ashwin? Monday will tell.”
On the other hand, the England captain Joe Root has been in sublime form and scored an unbeaten knock of 180 in the first innings of Lord’s Test after scoring 109 in the first Test. Lloyd added that Root should continue to enjoy his success.
“Joe Root is in the form of his life and it’s no accident. When you listen to his interviews, a few things that he’s doing stand out — hard work, small technical changes and attention to detail. But most of all, enjoy it! Joe told us this is the first time his two young children have been able to watch him play and that adds to his sense of enjoyment and fulfilment.”
India has a lead of 154 runs with four wickets in hand and thus England will be slightly favorites.