Former India player and bowling coach, Venkatesh Prasad, has said that its high time that Ishant Sharma should perform and lead the pace attack,
“Ishant has been around for more than a decade. It is high time that he leads the attack. I don’t know what the issue is. He has got the pace, the height, the aggression but he has not realised his potential. He should be playing the role that Srinath (Javagal) played when he was around, or Zaheer Khan or Kapil Dev when they played,” he said.
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Ishant, who made his Test debut in 2007, is though a permanent member of the side in Test cricket but is often dropped from the playing XI due to fluctuating form. Captain Virat Kohli relies more on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami instead of Ishant, which is enough to reveal that he has not been able to gain captain’s confidence.
Ishant’s last fifer came in the year 2015 against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Though he is still a great bowler but is not expected to find a place in playing XI right from the first Test on South Africa tour.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are expected picks in the playing XI while there will be a toss-up between Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma.
Venkatesh Prasad also commented on the selection of Jasprit Bumrah in the Indian Test team and said that Bumrah had done well to get selected for the longest format of the game,
“He has done well and that is why he has been picked. Let him get the opportunity then we will see how he fares. The requirements of bowling in Tests are different to the needs of the shorter formats,” he added.
This was Bumrah’s maiden call-up to the Test side. He has been part of the India A side in unofficial Test matches but will be going to the national side for the first time. He replaced Kuldeep Yadav in the side, whose services team India would not require in South Africa due to the presence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the ranks.
Parthiv Patel was recalled to the side as a backup for Wriddhiman Saha. Patel will only be included in the playing XI if Saha is ruled out of any of the Tests.
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah.
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