England v India, second Test: Bowlers allowed Ravindra Jadeja to make hay on day four
Alastair Cook's seamers bowled too short and were made to pay for it...
Last Updated: 20/07/14 8:11pm
Sir Ian Botham says England lost their discipline at Lord’s as they allowed India to set them a total of over 300 to win the second Test.
Ravindra Jadeja’s swashbuckling 68 off 57 balls and a brisk half-ton from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (52 from 71 deliveries) propelled the visitors to a second-innings total of 342 all out – and left England needing 319 to register their first Test victory since August 2013.
Sky Cricket expert Botham feels the hosts bowled poor lengths to Jadeja – who crunched nine boundaries in an exhilarating knock - while he was also surprised that spinner Moeen Ali (2-28 from 11 overs) was not utilised more.
“Jadeja ruffled the feathers of England’s bowlers and they lost all control and patience,” said Botham, during the tea break on day four.
“Jimmy Anderson bowled something like 80 per cent short with the new ball and when the ball was banged in, Jadeja started hitting it hard and flat.
“England’s bowlers are seasoned professionals who have been playing a long time, so they should have stuck to the basics, or the captain should have intervened and changed the field.
“However, Moeen has been the most economical of the England bowlers and has taken wickets, so he has to bowl a bit more and offer you some variation.
“He isn’t going to get better if you don’t bowl him so if England are going to persist with him [as their main spin option] then they have to give him the ball.”
Jadeja was trapped lbw by Moeen for three first time around at Lord’s after notching a dashing 25 and a watchful 31 over the course of the opening Test at Trent Bridge.
However, the 25-year-old – who has been dubbed “The Rockstar” by Australian legend and Sky Cricket pundit Shane Warne – was at his thrilling best in north-west London on Sunday as he smote a maiden Test fifty.
Jadeja played with menace, was decisive and said: ‘I’m going to score, I’m not going to stop and I’m going to take this game on’.
Bumble on Jadeja
Jadeja eventually departed to the seam of Ben Stokes but walked to the hutch with a strike rate of 119.30 and Mike Atherton saluted the way the left-hander went about his onslaught.
“MS Dhoni (19) hung in there and Murali Vijay (95) looked calm, composed and in full control, but Jadeja was impactful if frenetic,” said the Sky Sports analyst and former England skipper.
“We over-talk about technique and here is a player who has recognised the match situation and thought: ‘The way I play is less important than the impact I can make'.
“He disturbed the bowlers and took the game by the scruff of the neck.”
England's bid to score 319 hasn't exactly gone to plan with them ending day four on 105-4, 214 runs short of their target - but make sure you tune into Sky Sports 2 from 10am on Monday to see if Cook's charges can pull off a memorable victory.