Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull believes that the Indian team will not miss the services of Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Shami in the ongoing Test series against New Zealand.
Shami, Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rohit Sharma have been rested for the 2-match Test series with an eye of keeping them fresh for the upcoming South Africa tour. Virat Kohli will be back to lead the side in the second Test that begins on December 3 in Mumbai.
“These sides rather match up nicely. India have an advantage with the spin bowling department in these home conditions. I know the key five guys are missing when you look at Bumrah, Shami, Pant, Rohit, and Kohli but I think only three of them are sorely missed. And that is Rohit, Virat and Bumrah.”
“Yes, Pant can take the game away from you but in these types of situations, you need your best wicketkeeper and that is Saha. So I don’t think they lose anything having him ahead of Rishabh Pant,” Doull said on Star Sports.
“If Bumrah and Shami were here, not sure they would have played” – Simon Doull
Simon Doull further assessed that Umesh Yadav’s terrific home record puts him ahead of Bumrah and Shami. Besides, subcontinent conditions dictate that spinners will be favored a lot more and therefore India would opt to go in with spinners, as they have done in the first Test in Kanpur.
“If Bumrah and Shami were here, I’m not sure they would have played because Umesh Yadav’s record is so good that he is guaranteed to play. I think they will miss only three of the five players massively but the other two they can do without, particularly for this Test match,” Doull added.
India won the toss and opted to bat first and heading into lunch, they were in a comfortable spot at 82/1, with Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease.