Former Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill on Wednesday said that even though Ravichandran Ashwin is India’s premier spinner, Karn Sharma’s inclusion in the playing XI for the first Test against Australia is justified.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Ashwin has got a tremendous record in the sub-continent. If you look at the number of five-wicket hauls that he has taken outside of India is a stark contrast. I don’t think he gets enough to spin on the ball to generate the bounce required.
“He tends to rely on Jadeja as well, but he is on a different class. I don’t think either of them deceive the batsmen in the air as much, which they will have to do,” said MacGill.
Making his Test debut at the Adelaide Oval, the 27-year-old Meerut-born leg-spinner, who returned figures of 1-89 in 23 overs on Tuesday, picked up the all-important wicket of centurion David Warner and MacGill was impressed with his showing.
“The wrist spinner Sharma today proved that he is a good selection. There are a number of deliveries he bowled today that showed a lot of promise. I think this will be a real stimulus for him for the rest of his career.
“Because he will be able to see now that he can play Test cricket, he can be a wicket-taking bowler and then he can take his career to the next level. I think he should stop taking himself as a sort of an economy kind of bowler and start becoming a little more attacking,” he said.