Former greats Allan Donald and VVS Laxman on Saturday slammed India's team selection for the second Test against South Africa, saying the move to play Ishant Sharma at the expense of Bhuvneshwar Kumar was baffling.
Coming into the game after a 72-run defeat in the first Test, India made three changes to their playing XI, with KL Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant coming in for Bhuvneshwar, whose three-wicket burst in the first morning at Cape Town rocked the hosts.
Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was ruled out due to a strain and Parthiv Patel was included in his place.
"Don't understand how you can leave a bowler out that don't have more bounce than a taller bowler @ImIshant. @BhuviOfficial has so much skill and accuracy that he brings. It's like leaving out @VDP_24!" pace legend Donald wrote on his twitter handle, while also making a reference to South Africa pacer Vernon Philander.
Philander ran through the Indian batting in the second innings of the first Test, claiming a career-best six-wicket haul at Cape Town.
Donald also tweeted, "@BhuviOfficial left out..you are kidding me"
Former India batsman Laxman was also surprised.
"I am surprised not to find Bhuvi in the playing XI today. In the first Test, he took the most number of wickets (6 wickets) showing skill in using the new ball & batted quite well showing patience and resilience. Am I missing something here ??"
Former India batsman Vinod Kambli and left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh also made their displeasure public.
"Virat and the Team Management are surprising their own players and confusing us. Heeee ha," tweeted Kambli.
While RP posted: "Perception isn't the truth but it's bigger than truth these days. And may be that's why Bhuvi isn't a part of playing 11."
Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the India bowlers in Cape Town, taking six wickets while batting resolutely.
Virat Kohli's team had folded for 135 in their second innings while chasing 208 to win the opening Test.