Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels India made a mistake in not including a front- line spinner in the second Test that Australia won on Tuesday at Perth to square the four match series 1-1.
He said the team management should take the blame for selections which have “back-fired.
“(Australian spinner) Nathon Lyon is a great bowler, so we can’t assume that a (Ravindra) Jadeja would have been as effective (as him).
“But India, I think, made an error in going with four seamers, specially (with) Umesh Yadav and not Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” Manjrekar, an expert with official broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks, told PTI.
“If there was one spinner, (in the team) there’s always cracks and roughs, especially with left-handed batsmen in the opposition, to exploit. Jadeja could have been of more use than the fourth seamer”, he said.
“So, it was a selection error that may have also contributed to India eventually losing the match,” explained the 53-year-old batsman-turned-commentator.
India crumbled in the face of Australia’s remarkable turnaround and crashed to a 146-run defeat in the second Test of the four-game rubber to squander the 1-0 lead gained in the series opener at Adelaide.
The hosts levelled the four-match series after India were bowled out for 140 runs in 56 overs in their second innings on the fifth and final day.
The former right-handed middle order batsman said the team should not have high expectations from Agarwal, who opens for Karnataka.
“Even if you play Mayank Agarwal, we should not have high expectations because it is extremely tough for an Indian batsman to straightaway go into a Test match on an Australian pitch, especially at the top of the order, where the Kookaburra ball does a lot,” he said.
Manjrekar said that India does not have too many options when it comes to selecting openers.