Rohit Sharma’s India, who are already without their star player Virat Kohli, lost the nail-biting opening Test by 28 runs in Hyderabad on Sunday. India are currently trailing the five-match series 0-1 and will head into the second Test with almost an inexperienced side.The second Test will be played in Visakhapatnam starting Friday.
BCCI on Monday added Sarfaraz Khan, Saurabh Kumar, and Washington Sundar to India’s squad.
Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh said the team is going to miss Jadeja and KL Rahul and the new squad lacks experience.
“BCCI announced the team and shockingly both Jadeja and KL Rahul are not part of it. Both in-form cricketers are injured. We don’t know about their return as well. Virat Kohli isn’t there as well. His presence would have bolstered the Indian batting lineup. Shubman is out of form. Shreyas hasn’t been among the runs. Both are class cricketers but haven’t scored runs so far,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
“The team looks decent but lacks experience. Yes, there is Rohit Sharma, but the next best run-scorer is Ashwin. In terms of batting, the line-up looks weak. And if they play on a turning track, which I feel they will because they have added Washington Sundar while having Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin and Axar Patel,” he said.
“India should be careful that they don’t fall into their own trap by preparing a turning track for the visitors. This batting unit is young, they need time, and if they get a good track, they might even perform well,” he said.
It is a maiden national call-up for Sarfaraz after scoring truckload of runs in domestic cricket and more recently in the India A series against England Lions.
Sarfaraz was India A’s highest run-getter in the series. He scored 220 runs in 2 matches at an average of 73.33, including one century and one fifty.
Harbhajan said this series is going to be a big opportunity for Sarfaraz who has 3912 runs in 45 first-class matches at an average of 69.85.
“Sarafaraz’s name was doing rounds for quite some time and finally he has been given the chance. He has been scoring runs and got a well-deserved call-up. He needs to grab the opportunity with both hands. If he is not able to perform, he will have to make way for Virat Kohli when King Kohli returns,” Harbhajan said.
India Test squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, K.S. Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Avesh Khan, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, Saurabh Kumar