Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has slammed the Indian team management for the changes they made for the second Test against South Africa in Centurion on Saturday.
After an ignominious defeat in the first Test, India made three changes to their team, bringing in Ishant Sharma, KL Rahul and Parthiv Patel in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha.
While Saha was dropped for a legit reason owing to a niggle, Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar's ouster didn't meet Gavaskar's approval.
Dhawan had scored 32 runs across two innings in the Cape Town Test and Bhuvneshwar had been one of India's top performers in that game with 6 wickets and 38 runs.
The Uttar Pradesh bowler appeared to have been dropped in favour of the lanky Ishant on account of the latter being able to extract more bounce off the SuperSport Park pitch.
After South Africa reached 78/0 at lunch on the opening day with none of the Indian bowlers making much impression, Gavaskar looked angry during the post-lunch show on Sony Ten1.
He made no bones about what he thought of Dhawan's ouster. Gavaskar said the left-handed opener was made "Bali ka Bakra (sacrificial lamb)", and insisted no player could be removed for having just one bad match.
Commenting on Ishant's inclusion, Gavaskar showed his frustration and said the Indian team management should have dropped Mohammed Shami or Jasprit Bumrah if they preferred's Ishant's bounce but there was no reason for them to drop Bhuvneshwar.
India's tour of South Africa appears to be full of controversies as far as team selection is concerned. In the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane was dropped in favour of Rohit Sharma despite his good record on the road for India in the last few years.