As the historic victory Down Under continues to sink, we shift focus on the forthcoming series against England. With the first Test scheduled to start from February 5, former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has picked his playing XI for the opener and made a couple of surprise inclusion.
The spotlight will be on the management who will face the problem of many while picking the playing XI for the first Test after the youngsters lived up to the expectations at the Gabba. The forthcoming series will also see the return of skipper Virat Kohli and senior fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who will slot in the playing XI directly.
Wasim Jaffer almost retained the same batting order that played in Brisbane except for the inclusion of Kohli in place of Mayank Agarwal, who batted in the middle-order in the last outing. Otherwise, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will open the innings followed by Cheteshwar Pujara at No.3 in Jaffer’s playing XI.
Wasim Jaffer picks Axar Patel ahead of Washington Sundar
Rishabh Pant got a nod ahead of Wriddhiman Saha in the playing XI after his recent heroics in Australia. Meanwhile, in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, Wasim Jaffer went with debutant Axar Patel because of England batter’s inability to tackle left-arm spinners. This will come as a surprise as many would expect Washington Sundar to retain his place after a stunning debut at the Gabba. Jaffer also feels that if the pitch helps the spinner then Kuldeep Yadav should get a chance. If not, then Shardul Thakur should be picked.
Going ahead, Wami Jaffer faced a little dilemma while picking one between Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj while Jasprit Bumrah was an obvious pick in the playing XI for the first Test between India and England.
Wasim Jaffer’s playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteswar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav/Shardul Thakur, Ishant Sharma/Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah