Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s omission in the second Test hasn’t gone down well with Virender Sehwag, who has suggested Virat Kohli should drop himself if he fails to win in Centurion. With India not having a good start on the first day of the second Test, their record of consecutive series wins is at stake.
India’s team selection in the second Test has come under severe criticism, especially the exclusion of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was India’s hero in the first Test in Newlands. His three quick wickets had unsettled South Africa, from which their batting order couldn’t recover in the entire match.
Sehwag was the latest one to join the list, who also questioned Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion, who thought that dropping the southpaw after just one poor display was not justifiable. The explosive opener, hence, stated that Kohli should bench himself if the skipper failed to perform in the second Test.
“Watching Virat Kohli excluding Shikhar Dhawan for just one Test failure, and Bhuvneshwar for no reason at all, Kohli should drop himself in the third Test at Centurion, if he fails to perform in Centurion," Sehwag told India TV.
While Kohli’s decision to opt for Rohit Sharma over Ajinkya Rahane was purely based on their recent form, the skipper maintained that the decision to bring in Ishant Sharma over Bhuvneshwar in the second Test was the former’s height.
"Excluding Bhuvneshwar wasn't the right decision. Citing that Ishant might benefit with his height, Virat Kohli has hurt Bhuvneshwar Kumar's self-confidence. They could have played Ishant in place of any other bowler. Bhuvneshwar performed well in Cape Town and excluding him like this isn't justified," Sehwag added.
The other change in the squad was rather a forced one as Parthiv Patel had to come in for an injured Wriddhiman Saha. However, India’s experiment hasn’t panned out well on the first day, despite the late surge in South African dismissals. The Proteas lead India by 269 runs in the first innings with four wickets to spare.
India came into the series at the back of nine consecutive Test series wins equaling Australia’s record. However, their chance to create a record by winning the tenth on the trot is at stake given South Africa’s strong start and Indian batmen’s previous struggles on fast and bouncy tracks.
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