‘Rohit missed a trick’: Ex-England pacer questions India captain’s tactics against Ben Duckett in 3rd Test


The ongoing third Test at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot has been a display of sheer dominance by the visiting England team, with Ben Duckett at the forefront of the action, smashing a brilliant 133 off 118 balls. The English batsman, exhibiting a level of confidence and aggression akin to facing a club side, has put his team in a commanding position early in the game. With just a fraction of the match concluded and two days played, a staggering total of over 650 runs have already lit up the scoreboard, hinting at a highly probable outcome in a game where draws have become more common.

In a scenario where England’s batsmen are taking full advantage of a benign pitch, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma’s leadership tactics have come under intense scrutiny. Former England speedster Steven Finn voiced his critique on Sky Sports. Finn suggested that Rohit might be regretting not employing his premier spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, much earlier in the day to tackle the onslaught, hinting at a possible oversight in the captain’s strategic planning.

The criticism stems from the observation that Ashwin, a veteran off-spinner with a rich record against left-handers, was only introduced into the attack in the 12th over, by which time Duckett had already amassed a rapid 55 off 42 deliveries. Jadeja, on the other hand, entered the fray in the 23rd over while Duckett was in full flow, taking the Indian bowlers to task. It was a strategic conundrum that could have made a significant impact on the game’s direction.

These tactics, or the lack thereof, did not escape the attention of Ashwin himself who expressed at the post-day press conference that an earlier introduction might have served the team better. Acknowledging Duckett’s exceptional innings, Ashwin reflected on the missed opportunity to bowl at the Englishman before his confidence was sky-high, cementing the sentiment that a proactive approach might have yielded different results for his side.

Duckett’s century was not only a display of brute force but also of finesse, as evidenced by some audacious slog sweeps that have now become the talk of the town. The hundred was marked as one of the most remarkable by an overseas player on Indian soil, stirring a conflicting emotion in Ashwin, who candidly admitted the urge to applaud the innings while simultaneously being constrained by his competitive spirit.

Adding to India’s concerns is the news that Ashwin will be unavailable for the remainder of the match due to a family medical emergency. This development deals a severe blow to the Indian bowling attack, now tasked with a daunting challenge of containing an emboldened English batting line-up that trails by 238 runs but has amply demonstrated their ability to bridge gaps quickly on this picturesque yet placid Rajkot pitch.

In closing, the day’s play has amplified calls for sharper strategy and highlighted individual brilliance. As England appears to solidify their stance further, it is an undeniable challenge for India to regroup and respond with their well-known resilience. This Test match is shaping up to be a crucible of tenacity, skills and, as we’ve seen thus far, thrilling cricket orchestrated by Duckett’s blade and illuminated under the scrutinizing gaze of cricket tacticians worldwide.

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