Indian veteran cricketer Harbhajan Singh said that India must play Cheteshwar Pujara and Kuldeep Yadav in the second test match at Lords against England. The second test match is about to commence on 9th August 2018. Indians played four pacers and one spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the first test match and ruled out Cheteshwar Pujara for the first test match. The lack of a consistent second spinner impacted the Indian team a lot.
Pujara was replaced by KL Rahul for the No.3 position but he managed to slam only 13 runs. Sam Curran managed to hit 63 runs encountering Ashwin’s spin attack. Harbhajan felt that it would be better to play chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav who picked memorable scalps against England in the limited overs format. Sam Curran made a great contribution to rebuilding the English innings when they were at the critical position with 81/7 to a decent score of 180 runs.
Harbhajan felt that Pujara’s experience would make the difference in the performance of the team. He said that he will not bother who should be replaced by Kuldeep Yadav but the presence of a consistent wrist spinner is the need of the hour.
He said to Midday that “I don’t care who should be dropped, but the Lord’s Test playing XI must have Pujara. He is a player who can take the polish off the new ball and stay at the crease,”
“Again, I am not bothered who is dropped but Kuldeep must play,” he added.
Pujara is the 6th ranked player in the test format and added only 173 runs from six innings for Yorkshire County. Harbhajan felt that his presence would make the difference at the Lord’s test. He said that Kuldeep Yadav should keep on his performance in the tests like he does in the limited overs format.
Harbhajan acted as a commentator for the first test match and commented that he saw the best performance of Ashwin outside the subcontinent in the first test match. Ashwin picked seven wickets from the first game. Kuldeep earlier picked nine wickets from two test matches.
Indians are looking to avenge their defeat in the first test by a minimal margin and were confident about their win in the Lords. They won their last test at the Lords by 95 runs by the performance of Ishant Sharma who picked 7 wickets by giving away 74 runs in 2014.