On December 3, 2021, India and New Zealand will face off in the second and final Test match. All will be on the table, as the series is now tied at 0-0, with the first Test concluding in a tie.
Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer has shared his opinion on the Indian team’s playing XI for the second Test. With a big series in South Africa going ahead, Jaffer believes India really shouldn’t remove Ajinkya Rahane from the squad.
I would think about giving Mayank a break and getting Saha to open: Wasim Jaffer
Jaffer also stated that any talk on Rahane’s and Cheteshwar Pujara’s fitness can stay until the end of the SA series. Mayank Agarwal could drop out on a spot in the playing XI, with Wriddhiman Saha taking his spot as the opener.
“I will not drop Ajinkya Rahane now. Such a big series coming up in South Africa. I think regarding Rahane or Pujara, those discussions can wait till the South African series. Once that series happens, then you can take a call where both these guys stand”.
“You would definitely want Rahane and Pujara to be playing in such an important series. I would think about giving Mayank a break and getting Saha to open,” said Wasim Jaffer.
Wasim Jaffer also stated that the type of surface available for the second Test will influence the Indian team’s starting XI. According to Jaffer, Mohammed Siraj could replace Ishant Sharma in the lineup for the second game.
“It depends on the pitch. If it has got a little bit of help, then we might have 3 seamers playing and 2 spinners. Also, Siraj might come in for Ishant Sharma in the side. India might also look to play 3 spinners as well. It depends on the surface,” concluded Jaffer.