Two Indian spinners ideal for Lord’s Test: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly is the latest to back the idea of India fielding two spinners for the second Test against England at Lord’s. The former India skipper, in his column for Times of India pointed out that India need to stick to the five-bowler policy, and the best way to make the most of a spin-conducive Lord’s surface is to have chinaman Kuldeep Yadav partner R Ashwin.

READ: Lord’s Test: Batting key as India eye turnaround

“India need to think about a second spinner at Lord’s. It’s been very hot and history shows it spins at Lord’s and, as far as I’m concerned, Kuldeep Yadav would be the right choice. At no stage, however, should India compromise on the five-bowler option,” Ganguly weighed in.

READ: Kohli tempted to play two spinners

Ganguly also mentioned how crucial India’s batting remains if they are to bounce back in the series. The frailty of the Indian batting order overseas has been well-documented, that is something the team must have seriously addressed. As India lost at Edgbaston, barring Virat Kohli, no other batsman could show any resilience.

“This game at Lord’s is a massive one. There is no doubt that England will be greatly challenged if the Indian batting gets going, and if it does, that could be the turnaround the visitors are looking for. It’s not over yet,” Ganguly said.

Ganguly, who is considered one of India’s best captains, also praised Ashwin for his performance at Edgbaston and mentioned that the offspinner seems to be adapting well to overseas condition. Ashwin registered figures of 4/62 and 3/59 during the first Test, dismissing Alastair Cook in identical fashion both innings.

“The positive thing for India is the bowling. All the bowlers did a grand job, especially Ashwin. He has added a lot more variety to his repertoire and will continue to be a massive threat to the opposition. I remember talking about Ashwin earlier and I am happy with the way he has presented himself. He is conscious about the need to succeed overseas and has improved immensely since the time his spot was challenged by younger players,” Ganguly added.

However, it’s captain Virat Kohli who has impressed Ganguly the most. Leading from the front Kohli scored 149 and 51 at Edgbaston, and even though the team fell short by 31 runs and ended up losing the first Test, Kohli helped himself to the top spot of the ICC Test rankings displacing Australian Steve Smith.

“Virat Kohli’s conviction and determination to grind in difficult situations, his selection of shots, and ability to dominate the bowlers in every sphere of the game is extraordinary. He is rightly the No. 1 batsman in the world. He may not have been at his fluent best at Birmingham but his attitude of not giving up stands tall,” said Ganguly.

“This is also an example of batsmanship: Even if it’s not your day, you still make the runs. It’s a huge statement that the other batsman in the team need to stand up. I personally believe that this batting line-up has the ability to score runs in these conditions. Virat, the leader, has a job on hand. He will have to get this team going. The confidence needs to be brought back: It’s more in the mind and that will be his challenge on this tour.”