IND vs SA Tests: Jasprit Bumrah was unanimous choice, says MSK Prasad

Dec 05, 2017, 10:32 IST | A Correspondent

Gujarat pacer Jasprit Bumrah earned a maiden call-up in the 17-man Test squad for South Africa yesterday

Gujarat pacer Jasprit Bumrah earned a maiden call-up in the 17-man Test squad for South Africa yesterday. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad called it the most balanced team to go to South Africa, adding that the players, including Parthiv Patel who was chosen as the second wicketkeeper, select themselves. Bumrah, who is a regular in the shorter versions of the game for India has an impressive first-class record, averaging just a tad over 25. But the pacer last played in whites for Gujarat in the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy against Jharkhand 10 months ago, where he was adjudged man of the match. He was included as the fifth pacer, while Kuldeep Yadav missed out as the third spinner.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah

"With regards to Bumrah, if you see his performance in the last 18 months, it has been phenomenal, sensational in ODIs and T20. Considering his brilliant performance in last year's Ranji Trophy, he was an unanimous choice," said Prasad "There was no doubt in picking Bumrah because he definitely adds variety to pace attack. The nature of wickets in South Africa will suit his bowling," Prasad further added. Kuldeep's omission was unfortunate, according to Prasad. "It is unfortunate Kuldeep had to miss out as we will be playing only three Test matches in South Africa. Considering him over World No 1 and 2 spinners [Ashwin and Jadeja] would have been a big ask. But he is a fine bowler and over a period of time, we would see him grow," he said.

Other than that, the squad led by Virat Kohli comprises three openers, four middle-order batsmen, first choice wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, four pacers [plus Bumrah], two frontline spinners, and a genuine all-rounder in Hardik Pandya, who was rested for the Sri Lanka Tests. The selection committee decided to rest Virat Kohli from the three T20Is against Sri Lanka, where his deputy Rohit Sharma will lead the team. Kerala pacer Basil Thampi was preferred over Siddarth Kaul, who was picked In the squad for the ODI series.

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India's Test squad for South Africa tour
Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Burmah, Hardik Pandya

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