What is creating confusion among the fans is the selection of Jayant Yadav as replacement to injured medium pacer, Ishant Sharma. Jayant Yadav is an off- spinner, and doesn’t suit at all the requirements of a replacement. The only logic that supports Yadav’s inclusion is providing a possible back up for Ravichandran Ashwin, the lead wicket-taker for India in this series. India, already, has Bhuvneshwar Kumar on benches, who can fit in to any medium pace requirements.
Gautam Gambhir who’s been part of one of the better opening partnerships history for India along with Virender Sehwag, is all set to replace KL Rahul in the Kolkata test, despite the fact that his records at Eden Gardens in tests is not something which will amuse his fans. 34 year old Gambhir has played 5 test matches in Eden Gardens and scored 253 runs at an average of just above 31.
On Tuesday, Gambhir passed the fitness test conducted at NCA, Bangalore to leave for Kolkata to join the Indian team. Gambhir last played for India in a Test two years ago, but the runs scored in recently concluded Duleep Trophy suggests that he has been in good form; he scored four half-centuries with two nineties.
Earlier Rahul, who has been in prolific form in all the formats and scored 32 and 38 at a healthy strike rate in Kanpur, was ruled out of Kolkata test due to a hamstring injury sustained during the first Test.
Speaking about his injury, BCCI said, “BCCI medical team has confirmed that team India opener, KL Rahul has an injury in his right hamstring and he is ruled out for the remainder of the Paytm Test series against New Zealand. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Gautam Gambhir as Rahul’s replacement for the next two Test matches.”
Speaking about inclusion of Jayant Yadav, BCCI said: “Medium pacer Ishant Sharma is recovering and won’t be available for the second Test of the series to played in Kolkata. BCCI medical Team will continue to monitor his progress. Off spinner Jayant Yadav will replace Ishant for the second Test.”
Yadav’s inclusion has been talking point of the town, as the team has strong spinning alternative in Amit Mishra, who had to sit out during the Kanpur test. So, ideally it is the logic that is mentioned above or there has been issue with the original selection pattern/replacement.
Gambhir, on the other hand, played his last of 56 Tests in England in August 2014, and has since been overlooked for 17 subsequent Tests till date, a comeback to the test ranks is among the most enjoyable moments of his career. As he tweeted this morning,” Excitement of a debutant, certainty of experienced, nervousness of a novice…am feeling it all. Eden here I come loaded with ambitions.” And further added the opener, on his microblogging handle, “Nothing beats playing again for d country. Test cricket, whites, red ball and India cap again. Thanks @BCCI, thanks 2 all for d prayers.”
However, if net session are any indication, Dhawan will have one final go at the Kolkata test before deciding about Gambhir and his verbal duels with Captain Kohli at the IPL matches is something which won’t support his case.