Considering the ongoing form of the TeamIndia in the series abroad against South Africa, there are various prominent people who are showing some serious concerns about the team’s performance in foreign pitches.
Amid the various discussions that are going on, former able opener Virender Sehwag today stated that Virat Kohli “should drop himself” if he fails in the second Test against South Africa, launching a scathing attack on the India skipper for his team selection.
Coming into the game at Centurion after suffering a 72-run defeat in the first Test, India made three changes to their playing XI with KL Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma coming in for Bhuvneshwar, whose three-wicket burst in the first morning of the opening Test had rocked the hosts.
Sehwag stormed at Virat for proceeding with certain unexpected alterations, he went saying, “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”.
The other change was wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who was ruled out due to a strain, and Parthiv Patel was included is his place. “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.
Following this long haul of backlash, Virat somehow received support from off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who feels there is no guarantee that India would have done better if Rahane had played.
He was quoted saying, “I was checking a few stats. Under Virat, Ajinkya’s average is less than 40 over 30 Tests. Also last one year he didn’t score that many runs. What if Ajinkya played and India were down 0-2, then would we have said that please bring Rohit. One needs to understand the captain’s point of view also.”
Coming to the stats, Rahane maintains an average of 42.33 from the 30 Tests he has played under Kohli. Under MS Dhoni, he has played 12 Tests and scored runs at 45.90. Though Harbhajan feels that Rahane’s omission was a 50-50 call, he did not support the decision to exclude Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
He, however, concluded by saying, “My advice to the team would be to remain positive. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. So we should go for it”.
India’s record of nine consecutive series victories is on the line after the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It is only the second match in India’s 12-Test long overseas schedule in 2018-19, and already they are faced with a must-not-lose situation in a bid to keep this series alive.