Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has said he would be taken aback if India pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing eleven for the first Test against Australia.
The tour of South Africa has made it pretty clear that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an indispensable part of the Test side. He took 10 wickets in just two games to prove his worth. And with the bat, he played two crucial 30-plus knocks, helping India to register a memorable win in Johannesburg. But unfortunately, he has not played any Test after the South Africa tour due to injury and rest.
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His performance in ODIs and T20Is is equally impressive. However, Sanjay Manjrekar said that he would be left surprised if Bhuvneshwar is picked for the first Test at the Adelaide Oval. One of the reasons could be Bhuvneshwar’s recent struggles. Since returning from injury, the right-arm pacer has picked up just seven wickets in last 10 games across ODIs and T20Is.
Manjrekar feels the Uttar Pradesh star would find it difficult to break into the team with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami in good form.
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“Bhuvneshwar would not be in my XI for the first Test, purely because he would find it difficult to dislodge the three seamers who are likely to play in the first Test on current form, fitness, everything. Ishant Sharma was very consistent in England, so he is your perfect third seam option. Jasprit Bumrah is the leader of the attack,” Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo’s Cricket Monthly.
Mohammed Shami was pretty impressive in England, so Bhuvneshwar would find it difficult to dislodge these three. Maybe in the second Test, at Perth, he might have an opportunity, but the Bhuvneshwar Kumar we saw in South Africa and the one we are seeing now, post-injury, he is not the same bowler. I would be very surprised if he is picked for the first Test. And after that it depends on the performance of the other three seamers,” Manjrekar added.
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When asked about his batting ability, Manjrekar said that with team picking Rishabh Pant at No.7 solves the issue.
“If you have Rishabh Pant batting at No. 7 and you have six pure batsmen, you don’t need to pick a bowler because he bats a bit,” he said.
The first Test would get underway on December 6 at Adelaide. With form and momentum on their side, India would be looking to win their first-ever Test series in Australia.
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