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India in South Africa: Bhuvneshwar Kumar omission shocks experts

India Today logo India Today 13-01-2018
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In a shocking team selection, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was on Saturday dropped from India's playing XI for the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park, Centurion.

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Captain Virat Kohli picked Ishant Sharma instead as India made three changes to their side that played in the first Test at Cape Town Test which South Africa won by 72 runs.

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KL Rahul was brought into the side in place of Shikhar Dhawan while wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel replaced Wriddhiman Saha, who suffered a hamstring injury.

However, the cricket pundits were left shocked by the omission of Bhuvneshwar who kept India alive in the game with his performance at Newlands.

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Bhuvneshwar finished with six wickets in the game, including four in South Africa's first innings. He took a wicket each in his first three overs to give India early advantage but South Africa clawed their way back into the game and won a low-scoring thriller.

"I am surprised not to find Bhuvi in the playing XI today. In the first test, he took the most number of wickets (6 wickets)showing skill in using the new ball & batted quite well showing patience nd resilience. Am I missing something here," legendary Indian batsman VVS Laxman wrote on Twitter.

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Famous commentator Harsha Bhogle was also left astonished by team management's move to drop Bhuvneshwar.

"One player gave you a chance in Capetown. And he won't be bowling at South Africa. #BhuvaneswarKumar."

Bhuvneshwar also proved his mettle with the bat scoring a gritty 25 off 86 balls in an important 99-run partnership with Hardik Pandya (93) for the eighth wicket.

South Africa had won the toss and elected to bat on a slow wicket that is expected to speed up on the second and third days.

India and South Africa play the third Test at Johannesburg from January 24.

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