Jaffer makes a case for Siraj’s inclusion in Mumbai Test

Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has made a strong pitch for pace bowler Mohammed Siraj to be included in the side for the second Test against New Zealand beginning at the Wankhede Stadium here from December 3, saying that he should come in place of Ishant Sharma.

Ishant went wicket-less in the opening Test at Green Park in Kanpur, with the lanky bowler unable to make an impact in the 22 overs he bowled in the drawn Test.

“If it (Wankhede) gives a little bit of help, you might see three seamers playing. Three (seamers) and two (spinners) could be the combination. If it looks dry, if it looks like spinning, then probably I would say that (Mohammed Siraj) might come in for Ishant,” opined Jaffer on espncricinfo’s Match Day on Wednesday.

“Umesh (Yadav), Siraj and three spinners, that could be the combination India could go with (in the second Test),” said Jaffer.

Jaffer also said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee should not drop top-order batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from the “crucial South Africa tour”.

Stand-in skipper for the Kanpur Test, Rahane, and Pujara had unimpressive outing, even as Shreyas Iyer excelled on Test debut, scoring a century and a half-century. But Jaffer said that dropping the batting stalwarts could be counterproductive ahead of the three-Test series against the Proteas.

“I won’t drop Rahane now (for the Wankhede Test) because such a big series coming up in South Africa. I think, regarding Rahane or even Pujara, those discussions can wait till the South African series. Once that series happens, then you can take a call where both these guys stand. But, definitely, going into South African you would want Rahane and Pujara to be playing in such an important series,” said Jaffer.

He, however, said that Mayank Agarwal, who made a total of 30 (13 and 17) runs as an opener in the two innings at Kanpur, should be “given a break”.

“So, I would think about giving Mayank a break and getting (Wriddhiman) Saha to open and everyone (else) remains the same. It all depends on what kind of pitch India gets,” suggested Jaffer.




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