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India vs New Zealand: Don't understand how Ishant Sharma got another Test after ENG tour, says Steve Harmison

India Today logo India Today 02-12-2021 India Today Web Desk

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison suggested India to replace Ishant Sharma with Mohammed Siraj for the second Test against New Zealand, after the senior pacer's underwhelming performance in the series- opener in Kanpur.

India's most-experienced Test bowler, Ishant hasn't picked a single wicket in three innings now and hasn't been in the best of forms since returning to the team after an injury layoff earlier this year.

Harmison was baffled by Ishant's selection in the playing XI and therefore, felt that Siraj would be a better option in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium starting December 3.

"For me both seamers were also below par in the first Test match, for the life of me I don't understand how Ishant Sharma got another game of Test cricket after what he did in England, so for me I'd bring [Mohammed] Siraj in for him. The three spinners bowled well enough, so they'll be the only changes I make," Harmison told talkSPORT.

Harmison added that India might also look to make changes in the batting order by dropping veterans Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane after their repeated failures in red-ball cricket this year.

Harmison said both Pujara and Rahane "looked done" in Kanpur and suggested the inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav in the team as he is well-versed with the conditions in Mumbai.

"I think they both make way, there's lots of questions about Rahane and Pujara, they both might make way. I think Suryakumar Yadav, he plays in Mumbai for Mumbai Indians.

"He was brought into the squad a replacement for KL Rahul, I think they both [Rahane and Pujara] looked as if they were done, they both walked off the field in that first innings as I they knew it may be the last time they walk off the field for India.

"Pujara especially, 39 innings without a hundred is a long time for a player to bat in the top six and still warrant a place in that great Indian side.

'There's a lot of players missing at the moment and you might just see another debutant or player who hasn't played a lot of international cricket. I'd leave both out as they've both been as bad as each other because you're definitely going to bring Kohli back into the side.

"The question is then who do you bat at No.3? I think it'll be harsh just to leave either of them out, I think it's time for India to make a change of both of them," Harmison said.

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