Clever use of Ravindra Jadeja one of the reasons for

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Ravindra Jadeja

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has said that one of the reasons for India’s scintillating win against England in the fourth Test at The Oval on Monday was the clever use of spinner Ravindra Jadeja by captain Virat Kohli on the fifth and final day, while his England counterpart Joe Root failed to do so with Moeen Ali on the fourth day.

India pulled off the fourth-Test win against the hosts on Monday evening — only their second-ever at The Oval and first at the venue after 1971 — to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series. This is also only the second time in history — after 1986 — that India have won two Tests on one tour of England. They had beaten England by 151 runs in the second Test at Lord’s last month.

“Kohli used Jadeja cleverly — in a way that Root failed to do with Moeen Ali on the fourth day. By keeping his spinner on at one end, India’s captain could rotate the quicks at the other, using them in short, sharp bursts and keeping them fresh. By ignoring Moeen, Root ended up bowling his seamers into the ground, with possible consequences for the fifth Test at Old Trafford,” Hussain said in his column for the Daily Mail on Tuesday.

“Jadeja performed another important function too, aside from the important wickets of Haseeb Hameed and Moeen. He was landing it in the rough outside the right-hander’s leg stump, which created the conditions for reverse-swing, because it allowed them to keep one side rough and the other side smooth.”

Over the first few days neither side could really get it to reverse, and that cost England on the fourth day. But once India got the ball moving on the last afternoon, they were irresistible. And pacer Jasprit Bumrah, in particular, was devastating.

“I can’t be too critical of England’s batting. It does look like another collapse, and in fairness going from 100 without loss to 147 for six does not look too clever. But there are times when you have to give credit to the opposition, and to the bowling of Bumrah in particular. We forget sometimes that the opponents are allowed to play well too,” said Hussain.

The former skipper added that Root’s side wasn’t ruthless enough and that their catching left a lot to be desired.

England, by contrast, just weren’t ruthless enough. Their catching has been shaky for a while now, and they can’t keep having to create 26 chances in each Test because the blokes in the slips are dropping too many. What they’ll have learned from this game is that a lack of ruthlessness earlier in the game can come back to haunt you. The mistakes seem small at the time, but they all add up. It’s up to England to eradicate them.”