Umesh Yadav
Umesh celebrating Malan's wicket on Day 2. (Image: ICC)

Former Indian player Gautam Gambhir reckoned Vidarbha pacer, Umesh Yadav, to play in the second Test against South Africa in place of all-rounder Shardul Thakur.

India started their South Africa tour with a clinical 113-run win in the first Test as their pace quartet composed of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Thakur ran through the Proteas batting unit.

Umesh played both the Test matches against New Zealand and returned with a couple of wickets in a series where he bowled 30 and 10 overs in both games.

Umesh played both the Test matches against New Zealand and returned with a couple of wickets in a series where he bowled 30 and 10 overs in both games.

Umesh Yadav’s raw speed with control is his biggest strength: Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir believes India should continue with five bowling options instead of four and voiced for Umesh to replace Thakur in the bowling attack.

“Johannesburg will pose stiffer challenges for the batsmen. On this ground which is located on a higher altitude there is pace and bounce. India should continue to be relentless. I read somewhere that India may consider going in with four bowlers instead of five in the second Test match.

“This is being contemplated to accommodate Hanuma Vihari or Shreyas Iyer. I just hope this is pure media speculation and not a serious thought by the Indian think tank,” Gambhir wrote in his column for Times of India.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Personally I would be inclined to play Umesh Yadav in place of Shardul Thakur. Umesh’s raw speed with control is his biggest strength and that is what Kohli would need,” he added.

Virat Kohli has been exceptional in his run-making for India: Gautam Gambhir

Indian skipper Kohli made 35 from 94 balls in the first innings before he threw his wicket while chasing a full-length delivery pitched outside off stump by Lungi Ngidi, that he poked towards Wiaan Mulder at first slip.

He got out in a similar manner trying to play a loose drive wide outside the off-stump against Marco Jansen, only to nick behind to Quinton de Kock.

IND vs SA: Watch: Virat Kohli Once Again Falls For The Off-Side Trap
IND vs SA: Watch: Virat Kohli Once Again Falls For The Off-Side Trap

Gambhir said that people shouldn’t stress much on Kohli’s mode of dismissals but advised his former teammate to leave the balls that are pitched outside off-stump.

“A lot is being said about Virat Kohli’s dismissals in the first Test match. I think some of it is unfounded and creates unnecessary chaos. Kohli has been exceptional in his run-making for India, he just needs to leave lot more balls outside the off-stump and buy time,” Gambhir wrote.

India will play their next game at the Wanderers Stadium, a venue where both Kohli (in 2018) and head coach Rahul Dravid (in 2006) have won a Test as Indian team captains.

Also Read: Surprised To See That Umesh Yadav Hardly Gets A Chance To Bowl: Nikhil Chopra