Steve Harmison opens up on Ishant Sharma’s inclusion in Test squad
By SMCS - Dec 2, 2021 6:30 pm
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Former England pace bowler Steve Harmison has suggested that Team India should replace Ishant Sharma with Mohammed Siraj for the second Test against New Zealand, after his poor performance in the series opener in Kanpur as well.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma suffered an injury during the WTC final

India’s most-experienced Test bowler, Ishant Sharma hasn’t claimed a single wicket in three innings now and has been out of form since returning to the team after an injury layoff as well. And, Harmison was surprised with his selection in the playing XI and therefore, he felt that Siraj would be a better option who could replace him in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai starting December 3.

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“For me both seamers were also below par in the first Test match, for the life of me I don’t understand how Ishant Sharma got another game of Test cricket after what he did in England, so for me I’d bring [Mohammed] Siraj in for him. The three spinners bowled well enough, so they’ll be the only changes I make,” Harmison told talkSPORT.

Steve Harmison further added that Team India might also look to make changes in the batting order as they may drop veterans Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane after their poor show with the bat this year. However, the veteran has said that both Pujara and Rahane “looked done” in Kanpur and asked for the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav in the playing XI as he is familiar with the conditions in Mumbai as well.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav is batting at a brisk pace

He again shared: “I think they both make way, there’s lots of questions about Rahane and Pujara, they both might make way. I think Suryakumar Yadav, he plays in Mumbai for Mumbai Indians. He was brought into the squad a replacement for KL Rahul, I think they both [Rahane and Pujara] looked as if they were done, they both walked off the field in that first innings as I they knew it may be the last time they walk off the field for India. Pujara especially, 39 innings without a hundred is a long time for a player to bat in the top six and still warrant a place in that great Indian side.

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“There’s a lot of players missing at the moment and you might just see another debutant or player who hasn’t played a lot of international cricket. I’d leave both out as they’ve both been as bad as each other because you’re definitely going to bring Kohli back into the side. The question is then who do you bat at No.3? I think it’ll be harsh just to leave either of them out, I think it’s time for India to make a change of both of them,” Steve Harmison concluded.