IND vs NZ 2021: Wasim Jaffer Picks His India XI For First Test, Excludes Ishant Sharma
IND vs NZ 2021: Wasim Jaffer Picks His India XI For First Test, Excludes Ishant Sharma

Former opener Wasim Jaffer has named his India eleven for the first Test against New Zealand, scheduled to start on Thursday at Green Park, Kanpur.

Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami have been rested for both Test, and skipper Virat Kohli for the first Test. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side in Kanpur before Kohli returns for the second Test in Mumbai.

Also, India have suffered a late injury: KL Rahul has been ruled out from the series owing to muscle strain on his left thigh. Suryakumar Yadav has been added to the squad.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer is likely to make his Test debut. [Photo: Twitter]
With both Rohit and Rahul absent, Wasim Jaffer has gone with the likely opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill, both of whom will be making their return to the Test eleven. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane occupy the next two slots.

Wasim Jaffer has preferred Shreyas Iyer to get his debut cap in Kanpur over Suryakumar.

“I will go with Shreyas Iyer at number 5 because he was part of the squad earlier. Suryakumar has just come in so he will have to wait,” Wasim Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo in a chat show where he named his eleven.

Wriddhiman Saha, who last played a Test in Adelaide last year, is the first-choice wicket-keeper. Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin are the premier spinners. 

Wasim Jaffer opted for a third spinner in Axar Patel. 

“I would go with Axar Patel at number 9 for his recent form – against England and even in the T20s, he’s bowling really well. And all three spinners can bat. So that’s the biggest boost,” he added.

Axar Patel, India, Day/Night Test
Axar Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

In the pace bowling department, the 43-year-old chose Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav, leaving out veteran Ishant Sharma. He stated that Umesh’s numbers in home conditions – bowling average of 24.54 – are better than Ishant’s, who averages 31.11 in India, and he has extra pace as well which will aid him to extract the reverse swing.

“I’m going a little bit towards Umesh Yadav just because he’s got pace and he’s got a fantastic record in India. And it’s going to reverse swing a lot. So, I think, I would go little bit in favor of Umesh Yadav,” he explained.

Wasim Jaffer’s India XI for first New Zealand Test:

Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav

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