Australia vs India: Sanjay Manjrekar feels India’s lead pacer will not play the Adelaide Test
India have a pool of five good pace bowlers in the Test squad.
Updated - Nov 30, 2018 8:46 pm
India and Australia will renew their rivalry in the longest format of the game from December 6 in Adelaide. This series is being tipped as the best chance for the visitors to trump Australia at home for the first time ever thanks to the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner. With India’s bowling attack also is strengthened nowadays, it won’t take much for them to run through the Australian batting. However, Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Bhuvneshwar Kumar will not play the series opener despite being the lead pacer in the line-up.
Bhuvi has played only two Tests this year in South Africa and has picked 10 wickets at an impressive average of 20.30. But since then he has been injured more often and was ruled out of the England Test series as well. The right-arm pacer was also rested for the Windies Tests along with Jasprit Bumrah which hasn’t given him game time in the whites. Moreover, Bhuvneshwar didn’t bowl in the ongoing warm-up game as well.
Other three seamers are doing well
Sanjay Manjrekar, while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, was of the opinion that Bhuvneshwar Kumar will find it tough to remove the other seamers from the line-up. The likes of Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma did extremely well in England knocking out the opposition twice in almost every game of the five-match series.
“Bhuvneshwar would not be in my XI for the first Test, purely because he would find it difficult to dislodge the three seamers who are likely to play in the first Test on current form, fitness, everything. Ishant Sharma was very consistent in England, so he is your perfect third seam option. Jasprit Bumrah is the leader of the attack. Mohammed Shami was pretty impressive in England, so Bhuvneshwar would find it difficult to dislodge these three,” Manjrekar said.
However, the cricketer-turned-commentator also felt that Bhuvi might get an opportunity later in the series given the conditions favour his bowling and it also depends on how the other bowlers faring fitness and performance wise.
“Maybe in the second Test, at Perth, he might have an opportunity, but the Bhuvneshwar Kumar we saw in South Africa and the one we are seeing now, post-injury, he is not the same bowler. I would be very surprised if he is picked for the first Test. And after that it depends on the performance of the other three seamers,” the 53-year-old added.