Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed the Indian team management for resting Jasprit Bumrah for second Test of the four-match series against England in Chennai. In order to manage the workload of the Indian speed merchant and give him some rest before the pink-ball Test at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, India replaced Bumrah with Mohammed Siraj.
The home team made two other changes as they replaced Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar, who had both had torrid first Tests, with Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel respectively.
But it was the exclusion of Bumrah that most exercised the former India captain. The veteran opener, now commentating for the host broadcaster, believes that Bumrah would have had enough time to recover after this match as there is a gap of seven days before the day/night match in Ahmedabad.
"You don't rest your number one bowler in the name of workload management," he thundered. "Jasprit Bumrah is India's number one bowler with the new ball, while Ravichandran Ashwin is the number one spinner. When you have lost the opening game of such a crucial series, you can't rest your number one pacer.
"I am baffled by Bumrah's snub, as there is a seven-day recovery time after the second Test match."
Jasprit Bumrah had performed well in the first Test on a pitch that offered him little, and he claimed the key wicket of Joe Root in the second innings during a short spell in which he got significant reverse swing. Root, who had made 218 in the first innings, was dominating again in the second on 40 from 31 balls when Bumrah moved the ball back into him viciously late and trapped him lbw.
Ajinkya Rahane was altogether more Zen in his approach, pausing to meditate briefly on the pavilion steps shortly before resuming his innings after the tea break as he built a stand of 162 for the fourth-wicket with the sublime Rohit Sharma, who stroked 161. It seemed to do the Indian vice captain the world of good as he brought to an end a string of low scores since scoring his hundred in the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne.
Apparently, taking a bit of mental time out when the pressure is on is a habit of Rahane, whose calm demeanour helped India reverse a 1-0 deficit in Australia when he took over at the helm following Virat Kohli's return to India for the birth of his daughter after the humbling defeat in Adelaide..
Cricket journalist Bharat Sanderason said it was a common occurrence before and after a Rahane knock. That said, it would probably have taken all his renowned patience and a few deep breaths to recover his equilibrium after he swept over a Moeen Ali off break and the ball turned back to hit middle and off, dismissing him for 67.