India vs England: Gautam Gambhir unhappy with Ishant Sharma's inclusion in the first Test

India vs England: Gautam Gambhir unhappy with Ishant Sharma’s inclusion in the first Test

The home team decided to enter the first Test with more experience as they picked Ishant Sharma over Mohammed Siraj.

Ishant Sharma. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of the first Test against England at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, India had a tough choice to make between Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj. While Ishant is backed with a lot of experience, Siraj was coming after a stunning performance in the four-match Test series against Australia. The home team decided to enter the first Test with more experience as they picked Ishant and Jasprit Bumrah while the three spinners included Washington Sundar, Ravi Ashwin, and Shahbaz Nadeem.

Siraj had made his Test debut for India in the second Test against Australia at MCG and had a memorable series as he finished as the highest wicket-taker for India in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 by picking 13 wickets in three games. Ishant, on the other hand, was ruled out of the Australia series after picking an injury during IPL 2021 and had made a comeback in professional cricket by featuring in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.

The former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir opined on the two seamers saying that he would have picked Siraj as Ishant hasn’t played any red-ball cricket for a very long time and it would be tough for him to bowl 16-17 overs a day in the absence of a third seam option.

India should have built Ishant for the pink-ball Test: Gautam Gambhir

“Yes I would have picked Siraj. The reason is that Ishant hasn’t played any red-ball cricket for a very long time. Straight IPL and after IPL he has got injured and then he has played only T20 cricket. It’s not like you have got the third seamer in your ranks and you can actually just go on to bowl 12-13 overs a day.

“You might have to bowl 15-16 overs plus it’s always easy to bowl in T20 cricket but not in red-ball cricket where you gotta make things happen,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.

Further, Gambhir believes that India should have prepared Ishant for the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad where they would have to go with three seamers and should have let Siraj continue after a fabulous outing against Australia.

“You might have to play three seamers with the pink ball at Motera. So I would have definitely built him for Motera or probably for the second Test match and gone with Siraj because Siraj is coming after such a fabulous tour and he has bowled such long spells in Australia as well,” Gambhir concluded.