India in South Africa: Virat Kohli's Bhuvneshwar theory reeks of bias

If Rohit gets a Test nod ahead of vice-captain Rahane based on current form, then why was that criterion overlooked when Kohli and Shastri decided to replace Bhuvneshwar with Ishant in the eleven for the second Test against SA?

India in South Africa: Virat Kohli's Bhuvneshwar theory reeks of bias
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli (Photo: Twitter)

New Delhi: If Rohit Sharma is getting a Test nod ahead of vice-captain Ajnkya Rahane based on current form, then why was that criterion overlooked when captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri decided to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Ishant Sharma in the eleven for the second Test against South Africa? That's the question which left some bemused and some enraged when the India captain revealed his eleven at the toss in Centurion on Saturday.

India made three changes in the eleven: Wicketkeeper Wridhhiman Saha had a niggle and was replaced by Parthiv Patel. That was the only forced replacement. The other two seriously challenged the limits of logic. 

Shikhar Dhawan (16, 16) had a forgettable first Test and thus was considered out of form. He made way for KL Rahul. But Bhuvneshwar was in form (4/87 and 2/33), struck once each in his first three overs of the first Test, set it up for India. Still, he was asked to warm the bench and allow Ishant Sharma use his height to extract more bounce. Bounce? Isn't it what South Africans batsmen grow up on? Quite certainly Bhuvneshwar's swing gave enough evidence that it will be the more potent weapon in the series. 

And rightly so then, some of the experts asked why Ishant needs to replace Bhuvneshwar. If it was so much required to bring him in, then why not in place of Mohammed Shami or Jasprit Bumrah. Yes, they bowled brilliantly in the second innings at Newlands. But is that reason to overlook what Bhuvneshwar did in the first?

Dhawan's case was also a curious one, as he too was in brilliant form at home against Sri Lanka, just like Rohit, who, like Dhawan, also had a torrid time in Newlands. Rohit made 11 and 10 at Newlands. So why not make another change and bring in Rahane to take Rohit's place! Doesn't it reek of bias on the Indian team management's part?

All these questions were raised by voices of experts and fans alike on Twitter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, that's the eleven India have deployed now to get back in the series with a win. But by leaving out an in-form bowler in Bhuvneshwar, the visitors already conceded round one to the hosts, who got off to a good start staying unharmed in the first session at Centurion on Saturday.

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