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Should Ashwin be part of India's playing XI?

Last updated on: July 23, 2014 15:53 IST

Should Ashwin be part of India's playing XI?

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Impressed by India's brilliant showing at Lord's in the second Test, spin legend Bishen Singh Bedi feels the only trick the team has missed so far in England is not playing Ravichandran Ashwin.

"Ideally, Ashwin should have played in the both the games. Again, it's not Stuart Binny's fault that he's been thrust there. He has no utility when he doesn't even get an over in the second innings.

"It's not about a winning combination; it's about getting your act together.

"You don't pick Ashwin and get Murali (Vijay) to bowl off-spinners; it doesn't make sense! Both teams missed out on this front. Of course, England missed out more and India capitalised on it," said the former India left-arm spinner.

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Image: Ravichandran Ashwin bowls
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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'England helplessly hopeless'

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Bedi said England are looking "helplessly hopeless" and playing below par cricket but that cannot take anything away from India's brilliant showing at Lord's.

"Let's not take anything away from India. They played brilliantly. And don't forget they lost the toss also. England played much below par. They look pretty directionless. They look helplessly hopeless," Bedi said.

He noted that experienced England players like Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Stuart Broad were struggling as the Indian youngsters rose to the occasion.

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Image: England captain Alastair Cook after losing the second Test to India
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'When you touch the peak then there is nothing beyond that'

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Bedi said while Indian players are peaking at the right time, the English have had their time.

"When you touch the peak then there is nothing beyond that. You can stay at the top if you are willing, but if not then there is no other way than the way down.

"What goes up must come down. So the England veterans like Cook, Broad, (James) Andersen, Bell, (Matt) Prior have all past their peak.

"But in the case of Indians -- Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar -- their peak is ahead of them. They haven't peaked yet; they are on their way up. It is a cycle and the Indians have stayed low for quite sometime. So they can only go up from here," he said.

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (left) and Shikhar Dhawan watch England's James Anderson (right) leave the fied after India won the second Test at Lord's
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters

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'Ravindra Jadeja or Stuart Binny are not genuine all-rounders'

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Reacting strongly to the interpretation of the term all-rounder, Bedi was quick to clarify that he does not consider Ravindra Jadeja or Stuart Binny genuine all-rounders.

"They are not the answer to an all-rounder. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar can score runs. Let's not confuse this term called an all-rounder. The one who can find his way into the side purely for his batting and purely for his bowling is a true all-rounder.

"Same for Ashwin or Jadeja or Binny or Kumar," he said, adding, "Ray Lindwall scored two Test hundreds against England but nobody called him an all-rounder. He was a bowler. Gary Sobers, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham... they were genuine all-rounders. Let's not insult the term all-rounder," said Bedi.

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Image: Ravindra Jadeja
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

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'Cook is pretty much bereft of cricketing ideas'

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Bedi also came down heavily on England captain Cook saying it is time for the opener to start thinking as a leader.

"We have seen it against Australia, against Sri Lanka and we have seen it here. He is pretty much bereft of cricketing ideas. He definitely is a good enough player to be in the eleven. You make 8,000-plus for nothing or play 100-odd Tests.

"He is still not 30 and still a lot of cricket is left in him, I guess. In his case, he has a few technical hassles. Miseries don't come alone. In his case, they are really coming in abundance," opined Bedi.

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Image: England's captain Alastair Cook after India won the second Test at Lord's
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters

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'World is devoid of quality spinners'

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Asked about the quality of Moeen Ali's off-spin, he said the world is devoid of quality spinners with legitimate action.

"The game is devoid of a single genuine spinner. There is no spinner in the world who has a legitimate action. There is not a single spinner on the horizon and it's all because of the stupid limited-overs' game.

"The spinners' mentality has been destroyed by the T20s and ODIs. They more concerned about dot balls and not thinking about taking wickets, and that is destroying their psyche."


Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters

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