Ravi Shastri bashes Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid for picking Mukesh Kumar over Washington Sundar

Published - 02 Feb 2024, 02:04 PM

Mukesh Kumar and Ravi Shastri
Mukesh Kumar and Ravi Shastri (Credits: Instagram)

Former India batter, team director, and head coach Ravi Shastri is not fond of the Indian team management picking right-arm seamer Mukesh Kumar in the playing XI of the 2nd Test against England here at Vishakhapatnam’s ACA-VDCA stadium where the hosts arrive after losing the 1st Test by 28-runs.

Ravi Shastri feels that all-rounder Washington Sundar who was drafted into the 2nd Test squad alongside Sarfaraz Khan and Sourabh Kumar, would have been a better option than Mukesh Kumar. Shastri reasoned that the surface and conditions at Vizag are more favorable for spinners and claimed that India might have to pay the price for this selection.

Washington was brought into the side as a man-to-man replacement for senior all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who suffered a Grade 1 hamstring injury during the 4th day of the 1st Test in Hyderabad. That could have kept India’s batting tail a little longer like it was in the series opener.

India’s batting order ran until number 9 while in the 2nd Test, it runs until number 8. Mukesh Kumar has replaced Mohammed Siraj from the 11, Rajat Patidar has come in for KL Rahul and Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has come in as Jadeja’s replacement.

“How Much Of Use Will Mukesh Kumar Be..”, Ravi Shastri Expresses Concern Over Washington Sundar’s Omission 

Shastri was not much critical about Patidar or Kuldeep’s selection but he is finding it hard to understand why Mukesh Kumar has been given the nod ahead of Sundar. The 61-year-old openly questioned his use after Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and asked England to bowl first.

“My only concern is picking Mukesh Kumar over Washington Sundar. How much of use will Mukesh be, especially after India is batting first on this Vizag surface.” – Ravi Shastri said. 

It will be interesting to see how India plays out in what is proving to be yet another challenging pitch at Vizag. The pitch has generated decent bounce with a very little amount of swing but there is genuine help for the spinners. Session 1 was evenly contested by both the teams as India touched the 100-run mark while England removed skipper Rohit Sharma and number 3 Shubman Gill.

The Three Lions’ 20-year-old debutant off-spinner Shoaib Bashir earned the first breakthrough with a well-set-up wicket of Rohit Sharma who was caught by Ollie Pope in a leg slip. Rohit looked very casual with the shot that he played and Bashir was extremely smart in making the ball turn from the middle-stump line.

Following Rohit’s soft dismissal, the evergreen James Anderson who is playing his 22nd season as an English international, led to the departure of Indian batting’s prince Shubman Gill for 34. Just like Rohit, Gill made a poor shot selection as he edged an outside off delivery safely to the gloves of wicket-keeper Ben Foakes.

It is pretty evident that pacers haven’t had much help here but Ben Stokes has used Jimmy Anderson pretty well. Rehan Ahmed is yet to be introduced in the attack as Joe Root, Shoaib Bashir, and Tom Hartley have shared the spinning onus until now.

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England National Cricket Team IND vs ENG 2024 India National Cricket Team India vs England 2024 Mukesh Kumar Ravi Shastri Washington Sundar