IND vs NZ: Jaffer drops senior India player in his XI but picks both Rahane and Pujara in new-look batting order

  • Former India batter Wasim Jaffer has made two big changes in India XI for the second Test against New Zealand.
India's players gather as on field umpires stopped play at the end of the fifth day their first test cricket match with New Zealand in Kanpur, India, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.(AP)
India's players gather as on field umpires stopped play at the end of the fifth day their first test cricket match with New Zealand in Kanpur, India, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.(AP)
Published on Dec 02, 2021 07:06 PM IST
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Ahead of the second Test of the series against New Zealand, Team India faces a significant selection dilemma. Virat Kohli will be making a return to the XI after being rested for the T20Is as well as the first Test in Kanpur, and there has been speculation over who will Kohli replace in the XI.

Ajinkya Rahane, the current vice-captain of the side, has been under scrutiny for his poor performances throughout the year. The batter has averaged only 19.57 in twelve games this year and his poor run continued in the first Test of the series. Cheteshwar Pujara, meanwhile, has also been inconsistent with his performances and there have been calls for him to be replaced as well.

However, former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer, in his playing XI for the side, has named both the batters as well as Virat Kohli and dropped opener Mayank Agarwal in the XI. Jaffer roped in KS Bharat in the XI in place of the opener.

Moreover, he made a notable change in the bowling attack with Mohammed Siraj replacing Ishant Sharma in the lineup.

Talking about Pujara, Jaffer said that he wants the Indian no.3 batter to be more positive with his approach when he gets settled on the crease. Pujara played at a significantly quicker rate during the second innings of the Kanpur Test even as he was dismissed early (22 off 33 deliveries).

"The way Pujara batted in England, it was good to see that he was playing at a quicker pace. He is used to Indian conditions, he has to adopt a positive approach once he gets set onto the crease," Jaffer said.

On Rahane, Jaffer insisted that he looked in good touch in the first innings but needs to capitalise on his start. "In the Kanpur Test, he would've lamented his shot in the first innings. He looked positive but he squandered the opportunity. But I want him to play with the same approach that he showed in the first innings," Jaffer said.

Jaffer's XI for 2nd Test: KS Bharat, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav

 

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022