Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has put forward his wishes for India's playing XI for the second Test against England at Lord's. The 'Turbanator' wants a return for Cheteshwar Pujara, who was dropped for the first Test, as well as the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav.
India lost the first Test by 31 runs, much due to their poor batting display. Barring skipper Virat Kohli, who scored a brilliant 149 in the first innings and 51 in the second, none of the other batters managed a half-century. In fact, the 10 other batsmen except Kohli only managed 236 runs in the whole of the match.
It prompted angry reactions from the Indian fans, who demanded Kohli and team management to bring back Pujara. And joining in the chorus is Harbhajan, who is part of the commentary team this tour.
He was quoted by Mid Day as saying, “I don’t care who should be dropped, but the Lord’s Test playing XI must have Pujara. He is a player who can take the polish off the new ball and stay at the crease."
Bhajji further added that he also wants the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav for the second Test. The left-arm chinaman has been a breathtaking success in the limited-overs format. But he was overlooked for the first Test in favor of Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended up being the leading wicket-taker with seven wickets at Birmingham.
Their opponents, England announced their squad for the second Test on Sunday. Ben Stokes, the destructor with the ball in India's second innings of the first Test, is left out due to his hearing in court, which began on August 6. He is replaced by Chris Woakes, who missed the first Test after recovering from an injury. There is also a maiden call-up for young Ollie Pope, who comes in for Dawid Malan following his poor displays, both with bat and in field, in the first Test.
England defeated India by 31 runs in the first Test at Birmingham to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series. The fixture ended within three and a half days, as both the teams' batters, barring Virat Kohli, struggled against some really impressive bowling.