Despite the absence of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin in the recently concluded fourth Test against England at Kennington Oval in London, Team India managed to script a memorable performance, defeating the hosts by 157 runs in the contest to lead the five-match series 2-1.
Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur, who replaced Shami and Ishant, proved their mettle and performed outstandingly well to impress one and all, justifying their presence in the XI. While Umesh picked up three wickets in each innings, Shardul bagged three scalps in the match and smashed crucial half-centuries in both essays.
Now the question arises as to who will get a place in the fifth and final Test, scheduled to begin on Friday, September 10, at Old Trafford in Manchester. Well, former Indian captain, Sunil Gavaskar has the answer. The cricketer-turned-commentator has shared some changes the Indian team might make for the Manchester Test.
Gavaskar was of the opinion that Shami is a sure shot selection for the upcoming Test, and he might come in place of Mohammad Siraj as, except him, everyone else performed up to the desired expectation in the previous game.
“Shami walks into the team. There’s no question about it. The only question is… whether Shami comes in place of Siraj – because he was just off colour in this particular game – so that’s the only area where I see the opportunity to take a chance. But he has to come in; there’s no question about it,” Gavaskar had said on Sony Sports Network after the end of the 4th Test.
The 72-year-old further reckoned that India might have given their ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah a break had if India already won the series.
“I think, in my view, you’re still playing for India, and the series is yet to be won. If you are 2-0 up, then rest Bumrah, but we still haven’t won the series, so Bumrah has to play,” Gavaskar added.