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Former India opener Virender Sehwag has called on captain Virat Kohli to drop himself if he fails to have an impact in the second Test against South Africa in Centurion.
Sehwag’s comments come after Kohli caused a massive uproar by dropping in-form pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan for the second Test.
Kumar took six wickets in the first Test in Cape Town, which India lost by 72 runs, and made scores of 25 and 13. Despite this, he made way for fellow seamer Ishant Sharma.
Dhawan, meanwhile, was axed from the side in favour of Lokesh Rahul. The left-handed opener made 16 runs in both innings at Newlands.
Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha also lost his place, but he was replaced by Parthiv Patel due to a hamstring injury.
Given that Kohli made scores of 5 and 28 in the first Test, Sehwag questioned the Indian skipper’s decision to drop Kumar and Dhawan after one match in the three-Test series.
“Watching Virat Kohli excluding Shikhar Dhawan for just one Test failure, and Bhuvneshwar for no reason at all, Kohli should drop himself in the third Test at Johannesburg, if he fails to perform in Centurion,” Sehwag told India TV as quoted by CricTracker.
Sehwag added that he didn’t understand why Kumar had drawn the short straw and been made to sit on the sidelines.
“Excluding Bhuvneshwar wasn’t the right decision,” he said. “Citing that Ishant might benefit with his height, Virat Kohli has hurt Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s self-confidence.
“They could have played Ishant in place of any other bowler. Bhuvneshwar performed well in Cape Town and excluding him like this isn’t justified.”