Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has criticised R Ashwin's inability to make use of helpful conditions in the recently-concluded fourth Test of the ongoing five-match series in England.
Ganguly opined Moeen Ali had found success at Ageas Bowl, Southampton as the off-spinner had kept it simple, unlike Ashwin who was impatient.
Despite England playing seven left-handed batsmen, Ashwin had managed only three wickets over two innings in India's 61-run defeat.
The seasoned off-spinner, ranked eighth on International Cricket Council's bowling charts, struggled to make use of the rough outside the off-stump in the third innings as England went about setting a competitive total of 245 for the visitors.
On the other hand, Ali bowled with the right pace and hit the right lengths to trouble the Indian batsmen as early as in the first innings, picking up a five-for. He wonderfully used the rough and picked up four more, including the wicket of captain Virat Kohli, in the second innings.
"Virat Kohli will have to talk to Ashwin about why he looks so impatient. He is bowling six different deliveries in an over. Ability-wise Moeen Ali is not better than Ashwin. Rather Ashwin is twice as good as Ali as a spinner," Ganguly told India TV.
He added: "But Ali keeps his bowling simple. On the other hand, Ashwin keeps experimenting with the doosra, wrong'un and leg-spin rather than utilising the rough. Sometimes in Test cricket, you have to become boring to win matches."
Ravindra Jadeja to play the fifth Test?
Ganguly also defended India's selection call that saw them go into the match with only one spinner, unlike the hosts who had played both Ali and Adil Rashid.
India backed Ashwin and had left Ravindra Jadeja on the bench while going in with three seamers in Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah alongside pace-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
"In my opinion, the selection for the fourth Test was alright. The ball was turning from the footmarks outside the right-hander's off-stump. The ball wasn't turning at right-angles when Ali was bowling to the left-handed Pant. Jadeja's record outside India is not great anyway and the pitch wasn't suited for two spinners," Ganguly added.
"A spinner will have to use the rough patches when playing outside India. When I was the captain, at times I used to bowl Harbhajan Singh ahead of Anil Kumble because I wanted him to use that rough."
Meanwhile, it seems Jadeja is all set to make his first appearance of the series in the fifth and final Test, starting September 7 at Oval, London.
Ashwin, who has featured in all four Tests, suffered an injury while batting in the final innings of the fourth Test and is likely to be unavailable for selection, according to The Times of India.