Virat Kohli, for a change, won the toss on Saturday morning and unsurprisingly elected to bat first. The Indian skipper named three changes; while the dropping of Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar was on the cards considering their ordinary bowling in the first Test – Axar Patel was fit and available for the second Test. It was the third change of Mohammed Siraj coming into the eleven in place of Jasprit Bumrah, who is been given rest.
The resting of Bumrah for the second Test has received mixed reactions – some suggesting that the pacer should have played an important game such as this, where India is trailing in the series; while some acknowledging that he needed some rest considering the tight schedule. Gautam Gambhir is amongst the latter.
I think it is the right decision: Gautam Gambhir
The 39-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator points out that Jasprit Bumrah has bowled a lot of overs recently – 117 overs in 3 Tests in Australia where he got injured before the last game and another 42 overs in the first Test against England – and hence Gautam Gambhir believes, it is fair, indeed a smart decision to rest Bumrah and have him fresh for the third Test match in Ahmedabad.
“I think it is a good decision to rest him. He will be ready to go in the pink-ball Test match. There is nothing for the fast bowlers here and he has bowled a lot of overs in Australia and the first Test match, so I think it was a very good decision from the team management’s point of view,” Gautam Gambhir said while speaking with Star Sports.
“You would want to have Jasprit Bumrah for the crucial Test matches, the pink ball one and the fourth Test and there will be hardly any gap between the two. So, I think it is the right decision,” the former opener added.
India might also be boosted by the return of Mohammed Shami ahead of the third Test, which will be a Day-Night affair to be played with the pink-ball. Shami suffered a fractured wrist in the first Test match in Australia and had to return home, but is now on the course of complete recovery.