New Delhi: India’s former swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag, who is famous for speaking his mind out, today stated that India skipper Virat Kohli “should drop himself” if he fails in the ongoing second Test against South Africa, launching a withering attack on the batsman for his team selection.
Coming into the game at Centurion after suffering a 72- run defeat in the first Test, India made three changes to their playing XI with KL Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma coming in for Bhuvneshwar, whose three-wicket burst in the first morning of the opening Test had rocked the hosts.
“Watching Virat Kohli excluding Shikhar Dhawan for just one Test failure, and Bhuvneshwar for no reason at all, Kohli should drop himself in the third Test at Johannesburg, if he fails to perform in Centurion,” Sehwag told ‘India TV’.
The other change was wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who was ruled out due to a strain, and Parthiv Patel was included is his place.
“Excluding Bhuvneshwar wasn’t the right decision. Citing that Ishant might benefit with his height, Virat Kohli has hurt Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s self-confidence.
“They could have played Ishant in place of any other bowler. Bhuvneshwar performed well in Cape Town and excluding him like this isn’t justified,” Sehwag added.
India’s record of nine consecutive series victories is on the line after the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
It is only the second match in India’s 12-Test long overseas schedule in 2018-19, and already they are faced with a must-not-lose situation in a bid to keep this series alive. (With PTI inputs)