'End of the road for Ishant?': Twitter concerned for 'experienced' pacer after Umesh gets nod for 3rd Test vs SA
- While Virat Kohli's return to the Playing XI put a smile on fans' faces, seasoned pacer Ishant Sharma's absence from the set-up raised a few eyebrows.
Regular skipper Virat Kohli returned to the playing eleven after missing the previous game as he walked out for the toss ahead of the Test series decider against South Africa at the Newlands, Cape Town. The 33-year-old Kohli had missed the Johannesburg Test due to an upper back spasm is back in the team composition and is now playing his 99th game in the longest format.
While Kohli's return put a smile on fans' faces, seasoned pacer Ishant Sharma's absence from the set-up raised a few eyebrows. Ishant, who has got the experience of playing seven Tests in the Rainbow nation, didn't get the nod for the series decider as Umesh Yadav replaced injured Mohammed Siraj in the squad.
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Siraj had picked up a hamstring injury last time out at the Wanderers and India were left with two options -- Ishant and Umesh -- in their bowling artillery. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Kohli described it as "tough" to make a choice between the two experienced seamers. In 105 Test matches so far, Ishant has picked up 311 wickets including 11 five-wicket hauls.
"The pitch looks nice, it has grass on it but runs on the board at this venue has worked out well in the past. We will utilise the skill of our bowlers to put pressure on them after that," said Kohli. "It was a tough decision whether to play Ishant (Sharma) or Umesh, but he has bowled very well recently."
The decision to include Umesh over Ishant didn't go down well with some fans, given the fact that the Indian team management has backed seniors like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane lately. The Indian team management has backed the experienced but struggling pair of Pujara & Rahane, especially when Vihari and Shreyas Iyer have been
India, who won the Test series opener in Pretoria by 113 runs, have never won at the Newlands in their five previous visits. They have lost three and drawn two of those games. While India made two changes to their eleven from the last game, South African went with an unchanged side in Cape Town.
Here's how Twitter reacted to Umesh getting the nod instead of Ishant: