England bowlers are to be blamed for Rishabh Pant’s century on the first day of the 5th test at Edgbaston, said former Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif. He added that the English bowlers did not make Pant play inside the V, which is his weak area, allowing him to score the hundred.
“I saw that game, England vs India. English bowlers allowed Pant, a top-handed player, to score 100 runs. He doesn’t even use his bottom hand. I am not against Pant, or Kohli. I am just speaking about the technique, which I believe only a few people understand,” Asif said in a video analysis.
Speaking further about the first day of play, Asif pointed out the flaw in England’s tactics. “The situation in which Pant and Jadeja were playing, there you brought on a left-arm spinner – Jack Leach. He was under pressure and they took him for runs. A lot of individuals are to be blamed for this and I am not going to name them, I am just speaking technically,” Asif said.
This, however, was not the first time Asif has openly criticised the technique of an Indian batter. He famously proclaimed once that Virat Kohli is a bottom-handed player, pinning all his success down to his fitness.
“Kohli is a bottom-hand player. He is doing well because of his fitness and it is supporting him. The moment he will face a decline, I don’t think Kohli can make a comeback,” Asif had said.
Asif dismissed the comparisons which were being made between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, saying that the former does not even come close to Sachin.
“In fact, Babar is an upper-hand player like Sachin. His bat movement is fluent like Sachin. People say Kohli is better than Tendulkar. I say no. Virat does not even come close to Sachin. This is my opinion,” Asif said.
In his latest video, Asif recalled what he said about Kohli’s technique and how he has been proved right. “I am not against Pant or Kohli. It has been 3 years since Kohli scored a hundred, even he should do course correction. I believe he is a much bigger player than me, but I am just speaking technically,” he said.
Meanwhile, India again came out on top against England during the 2nd day of the Edgbaston Test. In another rain-affected day, India were all out for 416, with Ravindra Jadeja reaching his 3rd Test century. With overcast conditions, Indian Captain Jasprit Bumrah came out all guns blazing, taking 3 wickets and restricting England to 84-5.
With everything on the line, the 3rd day could very well decide which way the match, and eventually the series, will go.