Former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta reckoned that Mohammed Siraj should replace Ishant Sharma for the second Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The 33-year-old Ishant didn’t have the best of outings in the opening Test at the Green Park in Kanpur.
The speedster bowled 22 overs and couldn’t make a single breakthrough on a surface that didn’t have much on offer for the pacers. Dasgupta, also a renowned commentator, said that Siraj should come into the playing eleven provided the latter is fit.
Deep Dasgupta puts forth his opinions
“I saw him bowl just a while ago on the ground, bowling was not an issue anyway. I think his non-bowling arm was injured and had stitches. So, there is a good chance that Siraj is fit. If that is the case, then Siraj might come in place of Ishant,” Dasgupta was quoted as saying during a Q & A session on his YouTube channel.
Dasgupta also opined on India’s long-standing issue of the No.3 slot mostly due to Cheteshwar Pujara’s indifferent form of late. The veteran stated that someone, who plays seam and spin bowling with equal efficiency, should be the included in that slot. Dasgupta said that the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Mayank Agarwal are the apt candidates to bat at No.3.
“In the middle order, there are several players in the pipeline. There is Shreyas Iyer, then Shubman Gill, who I feel is more suited to the middle order in red-ball cricket. Then there’s Hanuma Vihari,” he stated.
“Another option is one of the openers playing at No.3. Mayank Agarwal plays spin well, he can be considered at No.3. You need someone at No.3 who can play seam and spin well. No.3 becomes trickier than No.5 at this point. Even Ruturaj as well,” Dasgupta added.
India had every chance of winning the opening Test, but stern resistance from the Black Caps’ lower order batters and bad light played spoilsport. Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra played out 52 balls in their unbeaten 10th wicket stand. The second Test starts on Friday, December 3 with the series on the line.