Indian cricket fans were served a shocker even before the second Test started. That Ajinkya Rahane, a player who averages 53.44 in Test matches away from home, won’t find a place ahead of Rohit Sharma, a player who averages 25.11 in the same criteria, had been something that one could guess considering how India aligned in the first Test. Instead, it was the bowling department that threw up the biggest surprise. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had taken six wickets in the first Test and batted long enough to save India from folding for a two-digit score in the first innings, was dropped in place of Ishant Sharma, a selection Kohli said was to exploit the bounce on the wicket.
It is a decision that has left quite a few scratching their heads and what has happened after that has validated a few fears. South Africa lost just three wickets in the first two sessions of Day 1. It was a different story in the final session, though.
Here are a few reactions from cricketers on the decision earlier in the day:
Iam surprised not to find Bhuvi in the playing XI today. In the first test,he took the most number of wickets (6 wickets)showing skill in using the new ball & batted quite well showing patience nd resilience.Am I missing something here 🤔
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 13 January 2018
“Perception isn’t the truth but it’s bigger than truth these days” And may be that’s why Bhuvi isn’t a part of playing 11. #IndvSAonSonyTen3
— R P Singh (@RpSingh99) 13 January 2018
@BhuviOfficial left out..you are kidding me??🤔
— Allan Donald (@AllanDonald33) 13 January 2018
Not only his bowling but his lower order batting contribution will be missed too #bhuvneshwarkumar
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) 13 January 2018
There have been some hilarious reactions from outside the cricketing fraternity too, here are a few:
Pretty sure Virat Kohli dropped Bhuvneshwar just for the laugh potential of watching Ishant Sharma high fiving Parthiv.
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) 13 January 2018
Bhuvi not in the team?!!!😳 My office is open for explanations.
— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) 13 January 2018
Always pleased if Ishant does well, but completely bemused Bhuvi dropped. If conditions are so crucial, presumably Kohli will drop himself for the England tour.
— Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) 13 January 2018
Ishant Sharma did take the wicket of AB De Villiers and also had a good economy of 2.00 at the end of the day.