Former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt has opined that the Indian team should rest Ishant Sharma for the next test match. He added that they can play spinner Ravichandran Ashwin or pacer Shardul Thakur, as per the conditions on offer.
Ishant Sharma looked slightly off-color during the Leeds test match. He bowled 22 overs in the innings and conceded 92 runs at an economy rate of over 4, with no wickets to his name.
In a video on Salman Butt’s Youtube Channel, he stated that Ishant did not look in rhythm, and was off the boil. He said that the pacer might have a hamstring issue, and should be rested for the next test match.
“It all depends on players’ form. A lot of times, experienced players struggle due to some reason or the other. It could be a niggle or a mindset issue as well. At times, some time away from the game is good. Ishant Sharma did not look in any kind of rhythm at Headingley. Given how good a bowler he is, Ishant Sharma was definitely off the boil. I don’t know, maybe a hamstring issue or something. India will definitely know about it. According to me, he can be rested. India can bring in Ashwin or Shardul Thakur, depending on the conditions,” Salman Butt said.
England are much better against pace than spin, Ashwin can be handy: Salman Butt
The former Pakistan skipper added that the English batters play well against pacers than the spinners. Hence, Ravichandran Ashwin could be a handy option for India in the remaining test matches. Salman Butt said,
“England’s strength is playing pace. Their batters are much better against the fast bowlers as compared to spinners. If there is spin on offer, Ashwin can be pretty handy. He is a decent batter as well.”
Salman Butt has also defended the Indian skipper Virat Kohli after the loss. The Indian batsman has been on the receiving end of criticism for this aggression on the field. Butt stated that being aggressive is Virat Kohli’s personality, and it’s being made an issue only because India lost the test match. He said,
“Virat Kohli has always been expressive and aggressive. His attitude has always been like this. That’s just the way he presents himself and that’s just his personality. No one had an issue with it when India was winning. Just because India is losing, this issue is being raked up.”