'Who says off-spinner can’t play...?': Ganguly's dig at Rohit, Dravid's Ashwin call after Lyon gets 'IND's best batter'

Jun 09, 2023 11:18 AM IST

Ganguly took a brutal dig at Rohit and Dravid after Lyon's dismissal of “India's best batter”, referring to the team's decision to drop Ravichandran Ashwin

It has been complete dominance from Australia in the first two days of the World Test Championship final against India at The Oval. Steve Smith got to his century in the first over of Day 2 before Travis Head went past the 150-run mark. The Indian attack then wrapped up the Aussie innings in the first hour after lunch, conceding 469 runs in all. In reply, India's brisk start was cut short by Australia pacers as Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, all departed cheaply. Eventually, it was a valiant Ravindra Jadeja-Ajinkya Rahane partnership that took India to 151-5 at close of day, although Australia remained in driver's seat.

Rohit Sharna with Rahul Dravid; Sourav Ganguly; R Ashwin
Rohit Sharna with Rahul Dravid; Sourav Ganguly; R Ashwin

India had found themselves in a spot of bother at 71 for four when a beast of a delivery from Mitchell Starc dismissed Kohli for 14. However, a 73-run stand between Jadeja and Rahane revived India. And just went it felt that it could turn into something imposing for the Aussies, Nathan Lyon removed "India's best batter" with a stunning delivery.

Speaking on-air for Star Sports, Ganguly took a brutal dig at India skipper Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid after Lyon's dismissal of Jadeja, referring to the team's decision to drop Ravichandran Ashwin from the XI despite the offie being the No.1 bowler in ICC Test rankings.

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“Who says off-spinner can’t play on a green pitch? Left-handed batter [Ravindra Jadeja] and Nathan Lyon. He has more than 400 wickets in Test cricket. At this moment, he dismissed India’s best batter. [It had both] Turn and Bounce," he said.

This isn't the only time during the match when Ganguly showed his disappointment over the Ashwin call. Like most or every expert present at The Oval, the 50-year-old admitted that India had missed the trick in playing four seamers and resting a match-winner in Ashwin.

"“India missed a trick by not including a match-winner like R Ashwin. In hindsight, it seems he would have been a better call, as Jadeja isn’t getting the support from the other end. Jadeja is putting pressure from his end, but there is no one to choke the flow of runs from the other side," he had said on Wednesday.

The former India skipper was also full of praise for Lyon for providing Australia with that much-needed breakthrough.

“Remember, he doesn’t only take wickets in the sub-continent. He takes wickets in Australia as well. [Brilliant] Seam position, [there was] bounce, it drifted slightly as well. It’s not that the ball doesn’t grip when there is grass. For me, he is all-time great," he added.

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