India vs New Zealand: ‘Don’t know why he’s not playing,’ Harbhajan Singh questions India’s selection in 2nd ODI at Auckland
India’s decision to ‘rest’ pacer Mohammed Shami in the must-win second ODI against New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland has left off-spinner Harbhajan Singh bamboozled. After winning the toss, India captain Virat Kohli opted to bowl first and informed that India made two changes to their playing XI that lost the first ODI at Hamilton. “Mohammed Shami has been rested, we’ve got the Test series coming up, he’s one of the main bowlers for us,” said Kohli while informing about the changes.
Fast bowler Navdeep Saini was drafted into the side in place of Shami while Shardul Thakur continued to hold on to his position, despite giving away 80 runs in 9 overs in the Hamilton ODI. which India lost by 4 wickets. “I don’t why he (Shami) is not playing,” Harbhajan told Star Sports in the pre-match show. Harbhajan agreed with the selection of Navdeep Saini but indicated that it should have been in place of Shardul Thakur, who conceded 80 runs off 9 overs in the previous ODI, instead of Shami.
ALSO WATCH | Fans hopeful as India take on New Zealand in 2nd ODI
Interestingly, former India World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev had also vouched for Navdeep Saini’s inclusion in the side ahead of the 2nd ODI. “You need a wicket-taking option. It is important to get Saini in the side not because India have lost the first ODI but he deserves a place in the side because of his pace and wicket-taking abilities. Look at Bumrah, he forces New Zealand to play him watchfully because whenever batsmen try to attack these bowlers can get wickets,” he told ABP News.
Saini, who made his ODI debut against the West Indies, impressed with his pace, bounce and also the ability to bowl yorkers at the death against Australia.
The other change that India made to their side was the inclusion of leg-spinner Yuzvendra in place of left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who had given away 84 runs in Hamilton.
New Zealand, on the other hand, handed debut to tall fast bowler Kyle Jamieson in place of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. While Mark Chapman was drafted into the side in place of Mitchell Santner, meaning New Zealand went into the 2nd ODI without a specialist spinner.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- A few big names were released from their respective franchises, including Steve Smith, who has been replaced by Sanju Samson as the new captain of Rajasthan Royals.
- The development comes hours after MI released Malinga from their squad, with the franchise owner Aakash Ambani confirming the news.
- IPL 2021: Here is the full list of players retained and released by all eight franchises.
- All-rounder Shakib was back after being given a two-year ban by the International Cricket Council in October 2019, with one year suspended, for failing to report approaches from a bookmaker.
- India vs Australia: Former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who led Australia to the 2015 World Cup title weighed in on India's historic series win, calling the player an 'absolute superstar'.
- IPL: With the IPL 2021 auction not too far, we take a look at the purse available to all eight teams.
- India vs Australia: Amid the plethora of people who want the 36-year-old out, Tim Paine has received the backing of Brett Lee