“Any batting debacle leaves a team on the backfoot. I am not saying series is lost but one needs to look at the kind of track that you want to play. I reckon Chinnaswamy won’t have this kind of turn. So my gut feeling is that Jayant Yadav and Ishant Sharma may be dropped from the playing XI,” Azharuddin told PTI.
Asked to explain his observation, Azhar said: “Going by their batting performance, I expect them to play an extra batsman — that is Karun Nair. He should be replacing Jayant in all likelihood.
“Also on the tracks that we are playing, Ishant’s back of the length stuff is not going to work. It is better that a swing bowler like Bhuvneshwar is brought into the team by Virat.”
For someone who has played 99 Tests and captained India for close to a decade, Azharuddin was critical of the performance by the Indian spinners on a rank turner. “I think a similar pitch was prepared when Michael Clarke got his 6 for 9 in Mumbai. This was a bad pitch to bat on. But I am not at all happy with how the spinners bowled on a track like this — especially Ravindra Jadeja,” said Azhar.
In fact, the stylish Hyderabadi feels that Steve O’Keefe showed exactly how to bowl on a turner. “O’Keefe bowled the line that Jadeja should have bowled. If you looked at Jadeja’s line, it was on off-stump or slightly outside the offstump trying to make use of the rough. That was where he made the mistake. On this track, Jadeja’s channel would have never got him wickets and that’s precisely what has happened.
“Now what did O’Keefe bowl? He bowled on the middle and leg line and didn’t try for big turn. The batsmen can’t leave such deliveries. As a result, he got four lbw decisions. An orthodox left-arm spinner when he is getting 4 lbws means that he was bowling straight, knowing pitch will do the rest,” said Azharuddin.