Harbhajan Singh Blames Ashwin For Defeat At Southampton  

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh slammed Ravichandran Ashwin after India’s 60-run defeat against England at Ageas Bowl. The game, defined by a few moments and narrow margins, proved to be a thriller where the Englishmen prevailed to claim the match as well as the series.

The Indians gave England a run for their money until the very end, but poor opening stands, lack of partnerships and Ravichandran Ashwin’s slump of form proved to be their undoing. England now lead the five-match series by 3-1, with one test to go.

The wicket, especially on the latter half of day two and the whole of day three, offered assistance to the spinners. Along with the dry conditions and the old ball, a rough crack just outside the off-stump set up a paradise for the slow bowlers.

While Moeen Ali picked up nine wickets in the game to earn himself a man-of-the-match, Ashwin only laboured three scalps.

Speaking to India Today, the 38-year-old said, 'India lost the match where Moeen Ali bowled better than R Ashwin. For the first time, I saw England spinners bowling better than our spinners. Him (Ashwin) not being able to take wickets is the reason why we are 1-3 behind in the series.'

'There was so much help available on this wicket for the off-spinners. Just landing the ball at that particular rough patch would have fetched a lot of wickets. That is exactly what Moeen Ali did and got so many wickets.”

Heaping praise on Ali, Harbhajan commented, 'Moeen Ali was making a comeback in the England team and won the Man of the Match award. He is a very good bowler though does not rate himself so highly. He will always bowl better than the rest as his trajectory is very good. Indian team has not been able to find any solution to his bowling since 2014 when he performed exceptionally well against us at the same venue.'

Ashwin had picked up a groin injury in the third test. However, he was declared fit for the test at Southampton. Heaping further criticism, the Turbanator continued, “I really don't know how serious was Ashwin's injury. If it was serious then the team management should have known it. And if he was really fit then he failed to bowl like it was expected of him.”

With just pride left to play for, India take on England at the Kennington Oval for the fifth and final test match of the series, on Friday.



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