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Frontline spinner could have helped, says Shami

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India's Ravichandran Ashwin bowls in the nets during a practice session ahead of their second test cricket match against South Africa in Bengaluru, India, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

PERTH (Reuters) – India would have been better served with a frontline spinner in their side, pace spearhead Mohammed Shami said on Monday following the potentially match-winning exploits of Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the second test in Perth.

In the absence of injured off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the touring side opted to go in with four quicks on the green-tinged pitch with all-rounder Hanuma Vihari being the only slow bowling option for India.

Lyon proved India’s main tormentor in the first innings with 5-67 and has already taken the wickets of captain Virat Kohli and opener Murali Vijay in the second to put Australia on course for a series-levelling win.

“The decision is taken by the team management and we can’t do anything about it,” Shami told reporters at the end of the fourth day’s play with his team still needing another 175 for a 2-0 series lead with just five second innings wickets remaining.

“We had a spinner in Hanuma Vihari and you can’t say he bowled badly. He bowled well. But I feel, probably we could have played a frontline spinner.”

India have left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav as the other slow bowling options in the squad. Vihari, playing only his second test, took 2-53 in the first innings but went wicketless in the second.

India were left to chase a target of 287 to win the second test after Shami’s spectacular spell of fast bowling saw Australia dismissed for 243 even after a wicketless first session on the fourth day.

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