Former players, cricket experts and fans were shocked and disappointed at the exclusion of India paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second Test against South Africa at Centurion's Supersport Park today (January 13).
India went into the match with three changes. Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar made way for KL Rahul, Parthiv Patel and Ishant Sharma.
After losing the toss, captain Virat Kohli said Saha had a hamstring niggle and hence replaced by Parthiv. On Ishant's selection he said the tall Delhi bowler got the nod ahead of Bhuvneshwar for "extra boune" on a brownish surface.
The 27-year-old Bhuvneshwar had given India a dream start in the opening Test when he snuffed out three South African batsmen. They were reduced to 12/3 but recovered to win the match by 72 runs. Bhuvneshwar was impressive with the ball taking 4/87 and 2/33. He also scored 25 and 13 not out.
While he was expected to start for the second Test, Kohli and the team management opted to pick the XI based on the conditions. Hence Bhuvneshwar missed out. Ishant's pace and bounce won over Bhuvneshwar's swing.
The decision did not go down well on social media. "Bhuvi" was trending on the micro-blogging website Twitter. Many questioned the logic behind this move. Only time will tell whether it was right or not.
Here are some of the reactions from Twitter
Unconfirmed reports that Bhuvi failed to lift 470 kg in gym last night. Captain Fitness & team management couldn't take the risk in case of a rhino attack on the field. Sensible.— Aayush (@slicesofIife) January 13, 2018
Can't believe Bhuvi has been dropped. Horses for courses approach of going with Ishant? But dropping the bowler who opened out the game for you in the 1st test & also looked rock solid with the bat in the lower order? Sathyama Kohli ah purinjikave mudila. #IndvsSA— Srini Mama ? (@SriniMama16) January 13, 2018
Thread for Test 2, day one: A very puzzled thread, that is. Saha gets a convenient niggle. Bhuvi, who got you in the game at Newlands, is out. KL for Dhawan is the only call that makes sense. And? Rahane remains out. Oh well. Pig-headedness is *not* a virtue.— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) January 13, 2018
What, no Bhuvi? Mind boggles. Team selection is almost as exciting as the first session.— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) January 13, 2018
Staggered by the exclusion of Bhuvaneswar. Staggered.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 13, 2018
- 2nd Test: India make three changes as South Africa bat first in Centurion
- 1st Test: Bhuvneshwar Kumar rues not getting AB de Villiers out early on Day 1