Virat Kohli and Team India management surprised everyone yesterday with their decision to drop Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the 2nd test match in favor of Ishant Sharma. It brought severe criticisms from many of the former players including VVS Laxman and Allan Donald.
The duo questioned Virat’s decision to drop Bhuvneshwar after the Sunrisers Hyderabad star brought India back in the game in the 1st test match at Capetown. Not only Bhuvneshwar was India’s leading wicket-taker (6 wkts) in the match but he also faced the most number of deliveries (127) for an Indian batsman.
Donald took to twitter to explain his viewpoint on Bhuvneshwar’s exclusion and said that it was almost like South Africa dropping Vernon Philander when the pitch does not have enough assistance for the fast bowlers. According to Donald, Bhuvneshwar brings similar control and wicket taking abilities to Indian side like Philander does with the hosts.
Laxman who also has worked with Bhuvneshwar during the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Sunrisers Hyderabad was baffled at the decision and asked for a valid explanation.
“I am surprised not to find Bhuvi in the playing XI today. In the first Test, he took the most number of wickets (6 wickets) showing skill in using the new ball & batted quite well showing patience and resilience. Am I missing something here??”
Despite all the negative reactions from the media and EX-players, Ishant bowled well and was consistent on Day 1 of the 2nd Test Match. Ishant even managed to pick the prized scalp of AB de Villiers so perhaps there was some merit to Kohli and Indian management’s decision to bring the tall pacer from Delhi for this test match.
However, as Sunny Gavaskar and Harsha Bhogle touched upon a point yesterday that Indian team needs to make Bhuvneshwar understand his role in the team and if he is only there to play in swinging conditions then he should be the first one to know that for a fact and not learn 24 hours before the start of a test match.