While many former cricketers, experts and fans bashed the Indian batsmen for not doing their job, it was spin veteran Harbhajan Singh who found fault in India's Ravichandran Ashwin's performance as India lost the 4th Test to England, resulting in a series loss yet once again to now make it three in a row (2011, 2014 & 2018).
Harbhajan lambasted Ashiwn for not understanding the conditions and heaped praise on all-rounder Moeen Ali, who took apart the Indian batting line-up. His 9/134, saw off players such as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane at a time when India needed them the most. The surprising factor arises here, Moeen made his Test return after quite a while and managed to bamboozle the Indian batsman.
Highlights, India vs England, 3rd Test Cricket Match, Day 3: England 23/0 in pursuit of 521 at stumps
"There was so much help available on this wicket for the off-spinners. Just landing the ball at that particular rough patch would have fetched a lot of wickets. That is exactly what Moeen Ali did and got so many wickets," Harbhajan told India Today.
Harbhajan, who has played 103 Tests and has collected 417 wickets, said that the English all-rounder was better than his fellow off-spinner.
"India lost the match where Moeen Ali bowled better than R Ashwin. For the first time, I saw England spinners bowling better than our spinners. Him (Ashwin) not being able to take wickets is the reason why we are 1-3 behind in the series," said the veteran spinner.
Ashwin had suffered a groin injury during the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge, which India won by a mammoth 203 runs.
"I really don't know how serious was Ashwin's injury. If it was serious then the team management should have known it. And if he was really fit then he failed to bowl like it was expected of him.
"Moeen Ali was making a comeback in the England team and won the Man of the Match award. He is a very good bowler though does not rate himself so highly. He will always bowl better than the rest as his trajectory is very good. Indian team has not been able to find any solution to his bowling since 2014 when he performed exceptionally well against us at the same venue," Harbhajan said.
England captain Joe Root heaped praise on Moeen's performance.
"Today (September 2) was probably the best I have seen him (Moeen) bowl in an England shirt. Such a testament to how he's gone about things. That strength and depth of the squad really excites me. When you're in the form he's in, it's a nice luxury to have (about playing him at three)," Root said after the match. (Read Joe Root's full reaction)
India will play the final Test at The Oval where England's leading Test scorer Alastair Cook will play his final international match as he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
The fifth and final Test will be played at The Oval, which commences from September 7.