Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir spoke about his ideal playing XI in the first Test while speaking to Star Sports Programme Game Plan. The much-awaited Test series between India and England starts in England on Friday. England play India between February 5 to March 28 for four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs. Chennai will host the first two Tests. The final two Tests will be played at the newly built stadium in Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad will host the T20I series followed by Pune for the ODI series.
Talking to Star Sports, he said that he would definitely go in with five bowling options in the first place. While revealing his choices, he did not incude veteran pacer Ishant Sharma and youngster Washington Sundar. Ishant is making a comeback after missing out on the Australia tour, while Sundar was retained for the series after his impressive performance in the final Test in Brisbane.
Play Five Bowlers: Gautam Gambhir
“Five bowlers, hundred percent. I have always been a firm believer that India has to go in with five bowlers in any condition. So, probably Axar bats at No.7, it is a direct swap between Jadeja and Axar, Ashwin at No.8. Ashwin will be really confident after what he did at the SCG, Axar can contribute with the bat. So, India needs about 350-odd runs and they have got the bowling attack to get England out,” Gambhir said.
He further said that Jasprit Bumrah should play the first Test and rested in the second to be kept fresh for the third Test which is a day-night game in Ahmedabad.
“I would start with Jasprit Bumrah for the first Test match. I am going to give him a break for the second and then play him in the pink-ball Test match,” Gambhir added.
Gautam Gambhir Snubs Ishant Sharma From His XI
The former Indian batsman picked Mohammed Siraj over veteran pacer Ishant Sharma banking on the former’s good show in Australia. Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma is nearing a personal milestone of 300 Test wickets and is just three wickets shy from getting there. While there’s no doubting that Siraj was one of the heroes for India in Australia, Ishant’s stature and experience in the longest format will be hard to overlook by the team management.
Gautam Gambhir’s Indian XI For First Test
Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
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