Umesh Yadav can substitute Shardul Thakur at Johannesburg: Gautam Gambhir | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir feels that the Indian group ought to have scored greater than 400 runs within the first Test towards South Africa at Centurion, particularly after the beginning given by the openers.
In his column for the Times of India, Gambhir wrote, “I returned from Switzerland on Sunday evening. I was also keeping a tab on Indian team’s first Test in South Africa. India played some good cricket but in patches. Batting wise I would have loved to see them score 400-plus in the first innings after a solid start by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. The middle-order ought to have contributed extra.”
India accomplished a 113-run win on the fifth day at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Chasing 305 to win, South Africa have been bowled out for 191 on Day 5.
“Yes, India came back strongly with their bowling performance, but I won’t be jumping up and down with the result. Scoreboards will not tell you the whole story but as a proud sportsperson, Indians would know that they were hardly challenged. This is perhaps one of the weakest batting group that has represented South Africa. Test cricket demands top class skills to play the moving ball. I may be jumping the gun here but perhaps this South African batting lot seem work in progress for Test matches,” Gambhir added.
Despite the Wanderers being famend as a floor favouring quick bowlers, India have carried out persistently properly in Johannesburg. India are but to be crushed in a Test match on the Wanderers and have a report of two wins and three attracts since their first tour of South Africa in 1992/93.
“Johannesburg will pose stiffer challenges for the batsmen. On this ground which is located on a higher altitude there is pace and bounce. India should continue to be relentless. I read somewhere that India may consider going in with four bowlers instead of five in the second Test match. This is being contemplated to accommodate Hanuma Vihari or Shreyas Iyer. I simply hope that is pure media hypothesis and never a severe thought by the Indian assume tank. Personally I’d be inclined to play Umesh Yadav rather than Shardul Thakur. Umesh’s uncooked velocity with management is his greatest power and that’s what Kohli would wish,” Gambhir opined.
Injuries apart, India are unlikely to vary their group, although the type of batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane stays below scrutiny.
“I wasn’t too keen to play Rahane in the first game. But with decent 48 in the first innings perhaps he would have won himself a place in second Test match too. I’d continue with Cheteshwar Pujara at No. 3. A lot is being said about Virat Kohli‘s dismissals in the first Test match. I think some of it is unfounded and creates unnecessary chaos. Kohli has been exceptional in his run-making for India, he just needs to leave lot more balls outside the off-stump and buy time,” Gambhir signed off.

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