The anticipation builds as the second Test between India and England looms on the horizon, scheduled to commence on February 02 in Vishakhapatnam. After a disappointing defeat in the series opener in Hyderabad, Team India are eager for redemption. However, they must navigate the challenge without the services of two key players, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, sidelined due to injuries.
Absence of star players prompts speculation on team composition
With pivotal players missing from the lineup, speculation abounds regarding the composition of Team India for the upcoming Test match. The recent additions of Sarfaraz Khan, Saurabh Kumar, and Washington Sundar to the roster by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) add further intrigue to the selection dilemma.
Harbhajan Singh weighs in with his expert opinion
Adding fuel to the discussion, former India spinner and cricketing legend Harbhajan Singh has revealed his preferred playing XI for the crucial second Test. Harbhajan advocated for the inclusion of Sarfaraz, citing the youngster’s prolific domestic form and impressive performances against England Lions.
“I think Sarfaraz Khan should play. He has been scoring lot of runs in domestic cricket. He performed well in the games against England Lions as well,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
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Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer shoulder middle-order responsibilities
With Rahul absent, Harbhajan emphasized the heightened responsibility on Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer to fortify the middle order. Both players, despite recent dips in form, are expected to rise to the occasion and deliver for the team.
“Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal should open followed by Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. Gill and Iyer haven’t scored much runs in last 10 innings. A lot is expected from them and hopefully, they will perform. With KL [Rahul] not in team, the responsibility is now even more on these two,” mentioned Harbhajan.
Bhajji further placed Washington Sundar, KS Bharat, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Jasprit Bumrah in subsequent positions, with Kuldeep Yadav or Mohammed Siraj rounding off the lineup, contingent upon the pitch conditions.
“I’ve placed Washington Sundar at 6, KS Bharat at 7, Axar Patel at 8, Ravichandran Ashwin at 9, and Jasprit Bumrah at 10. I think Kuldeep should get the nod as the fourth spinner provided if the conditions are suitable enough. If not then Siraj should be included in the final XI,” added Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh’s India XI for the 2nd Test against England:
Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, KS Bharat (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasrpit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav/Mohammed Siraj.