Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes that India will make wholesale changes in their test team after the defeat against South Africa. Harbhajan also suggested alternatives for ‘out of form’ players as India will take on Sri Lanka for 2-Test match series starting on February 25 at Bengaluru.
Last week South Africa beat India by 7 wickets at Cape Town to wrap up the series by 2-1. India started the series as strong favourites as they took a lead by 1-0 in the first test at Centurion but the visitors lost their way in the remaining two tests. India’s batting has been getting criticism from all corners as they failed to put on 300 runs in any of the last two test matches.
Harbhajan was quite critical of Mayank Agarwal as the Karnataka opener failed to make an impression after the fifty in the first innings at Centurion. Mayank scored 135 runs in 6 innings with an average of 22.5 which included lone fifty. So Harbhajan suggested team management to reintroduce the likes of Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw.
“Mayank Agarwal got six innings but he didn’t make use of the opportunity, which is a sign that some new player might come. Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw can be seen in the next series because six innings is more than enough for a player. Mayank is a good player whom I support but since he hasn’t scored enough so I don’t know what will be the way forward from here,” Harbhajan Singh spoke on his Youtube Channel.
“The way ahead from here will be difficult for Pujara and Rahane”-Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan also stated that the expectations from Rahane and Pujara are much higher than odd fifty here and there and suggested that the team should ahead now. He believes that Iyer, who scored a hundred on his debut test, and Suryakumar should replace them.
“Rahane and Pujara played 50-run knocks in Johannesburg but expectations from seniors are much higher than this. They haven’t scored enough runs and I personally feel the way ahead from here will be difficult for them. Players like Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, who scored a hundred in the previous series are waiting for their opportunity and I feel the way Rahane and Pujara performed they have actually opened the doors for Iyer and Suryakumar,” Harbhajan said.
He also lauded the efforts of South Africa who got the better of the experienced Indian lineup.
“They didn’t have any big names in their batting line-up but still managed to beat a team like India and it is highly commendable,” he concluded.