'If he doesn't play then Kohli will be in trouble': Kaif names possible replacements of Shardul for second England Test
- “I think if Shardul doesn’t play then Kohli will be in trouble because he wants to have a fast-bowling all-rounder and we don’t have many. There’s no Hardik Pandya, no other who can bowl fast and also bat,” Kaif said.
Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif said India captain Virat Kohli will be in trouble if Shardul Thaur doesn’t play the second Test match against England at Lord’s starting on Thursday. Shardul, who played as a fourth seamer in the first Test in Nottingham, is doubtful for the Lord’s Test because of a hamstring injury.
Kaif said the fact that Shardul is the only player currently in England with the Indian side, who can bowl seam up and also get some handy runs with the bat, will make matters worse for the Indian team management if he is unable to take the field on Thursday.
“I think if Shardul doesn’t play then Kohli will be in trouble because he wants to have a fast-bowling all-rounder and we don’t have many. There’s no Hardik Pandya, no other who can bowl fast and also bat,” Kaif said in a select media interaction ahead of the second India-England Test.
Shardul picked up four wickets in the Nottingham Test which ended in a draw due to rain. The right-arm seamer could not trouble the scorers much with the bat in hand but he has shown his mettle with a couple of impactful knocks in Australia earlier this year.
Kaif said Shardul’s injury may open the doors for Ashwin, who did not feature in the first Test despite being fit.
“Then eventually you might see Ashwin coming in or you’ll see an extra fast bowler. Maybe Umesh Yadav or if Ishant is fit, then he becomes an automatic choice. It’ll be tough for Kohli to have that same balance like he had in the last game if Shardul doesn’t play,” Kaif added.
Asked about the reasons for leaving out Ashwin and playing Jadeja, Kaif said Kohli got his XI spot on as in England you need that extra cushion in batting and Jadeja provides that.
“In England you want runs on the board. That’s why you saw Jadeja at No.7 and Shardul at No.8. In Shardul you have a seamer, who can bat. I think Kohli got the team spot on in the first game. Yes, you can debate about Ashwin and Jadeja but he needs runs on the board and that’s why Jadeja played ahead of Ashwin. You have four fast bowlers on seaming conditions, who can do the job. If needed then Jadeja give you a few overs or one or two wickets but his primary role is to score runs and he did that very well in the first Test,” Kaif added.
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