NZ vs IND: Harbhajan Singh questions Virat Kohli’s decision of excluding Mohammed Shami in Auckland ODI

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Harbhajan Singh-Virat Kohli (Image Source: Twitter)

Legendary Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh raised questions over Kohli’s decision to rest pacer Mohammed Shami in the second One-Day International against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland. After winning the toss, Indian captain opted to bowl first with two changes to their playing XI.


“Mohammed Shami has been rested, we’ve got the Test series coming up, he’s one of the main bowlers for us,” said Kohli at the toss.

The decision of Indian skipper left Harbhajan surprised, however, he was satisfied with Navdeep Saini’s inclusion. Harbhajan was hoping for Saini to replace Shardul Thakur, who conceded 80 runs off nine overs in the previous ODI, instead of Shami.


“I don’t know why he (Shami) is not playing,” Harbhajan told Star Sports in the pre-match show.

Apart from Saini, India also included leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI. Chahal replaced left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who gave away 84 runs off ten overs in the first ODI at Hamilton.

Chahal, who made a return to the 50-over format after six months, picked the most wickets for India in the innings, with figures of 3/58 in his ten overs. The leggie played his last ODI game against West Indies on August 14, 2019, in Port of Spain.


The second ODI of the three-match series is a must-win game for Team India as they lost the first contest by 4-wickets. Opener Martin Guptill (79) was the highest scorer for the Kiwis. Ross Taylor, who smashed a century in the previous ODI, scored an unbeaten 73. The two experienced campaigners helped New Zealand post 273-8 in 50 overs.

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