“Tactical Error”: Ex-India Star Questions Rohit Sharma’s Captaincy With “Ravichandran Ashwin” Reference

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Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar has questioned captain Rohit Sharma’s tactics during Day 2 of the ongoing third Test against England in Rajkot. Manjrekar wasn’t pleased with Rohit’s usage of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as the fourth and fifth options during England’s first innings on Friday. Riding on Ben Duckett’s quickfire knock, England got off to a fiery start in response of India’s 445 in the first innings. Rohit introduced Ashwin in the 12th over after Duckett had completed his half-century in 39-balls.

Ashwin struck in his second over, dismissing Zak Crawley for 15. However, he failed to trouble Duckett, who was already well set. After stumps on Day 2, Ashwin said that he would’ve liked to bowl to Duckett when he wasn’t set.

Duckett took the game to Kuldeep Yadav, sweeping and reverse sweeping the spinner to all parts of the ground.

Manjrekar questioned Rohit for bowling Kuldeep ahead of Ashwin, labelling it “as an error in judgement” from the Indian captain.

“I didn’t understand that move. I thought it was an error. A tactical error. Ashwin bowled the first ball when the score was 72 and that’s a lot. Among the Indian spinners, Axar Patel included, I think Ashiwn is the only one who started to find a way to counter this new English approach of playing spin. He would have been my first-choice spinner. I couldn’t understand Kuldeep Yadav coming in at that stage. There was a fair bit of pace bowling too when you could see that the fast bowlers weren’t really creating any impression at all,” Manjrekar said on ESPNcricinfo.

Manjrekar added that Rohit has to be wary of England’s attacking brand of cricket.

“These are the things that Rohit Sharma’s got to be careful about. He’s got to treat this opposition, who are very dangerous, ruthless. Ashwin coming after 72 runs on the board, may come back to haunt him and maybe Jadeja as well who came on to bowl when there were 100 runs on the board. He invested in pace a bit too much. He’s got to be careful,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ashwin pulled out of the Indian squad on Friday, flying to Chennai to be with his ill mother.

Ashwin’s absence has left the Indian team with 10 players, including just four regular bowlers.

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