Irfan Pathan backs struggling Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer, picks Rajat Patidar ahead of Sarfaraz Khan for 2nd Test | Cricket News – Times of India

Irfan Pathan backs struggling Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer, picks Rajat Patidar ahead of Sarfaraz Khan for 2nd Test | Cricket News - Times of India

NEW DELHI: Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan has expressed his opinion that neither Shubman Gill nor Shreyas Iyer should be dropped from the Indian playing XI for the second Test against England. According to Pathan, their experience becomes crucial in the absence of senior players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Despite their struggles against the English spinners in the first Test in Hyderabad, where India lost by 28 runs and trailed 0-1 in the series, Pathan believes that the team management may not take the risk of including young Sarfaraz Khan in the playing eleven for the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
Pathan emphasises the significance of experience, especially in the absence of key players, in shaping the composition of the team for the upcoming match.
“A senior player like Virat Kohli’s absence is a massive factor. Over that KL Rahul is also injured. So the team management has plenty to think about. They need to think whether to give a chance to a new player straight away or wait a bit,” Pathan said on the sidelines of the launch of Asian Legends League.
“There is no doubt that these two boys (Gill and Iyer) haven’t performed for quite sometime now but it is not that they have never performed.”
Pathan favors Patidar’s inclusion ahead of Sarfaraz
If the team management decides to include a new batter for the second Test against England, the choice would likely be between Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz, who provides a strong case for consideration due to his prolific performances at the domestic level.
“Obviously, there are two new players in the squad — Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz. But the Indian team management doesn’t have Virat Kohli’s service at the moment, so it will be difficult for the team management to blood in a new player straightaway. They would want to back experience,” Pathan explained.
“So it’s a big challenge but looking at the scenario, they might be now thinking of going with experience. Shreyas and Shubman have been there for quite sometime now and have experience, which comes into play in crunch situations.
“I feel the team management will back them because 2-3 experienced players are not there in the team,” the former bowling all-rounder added.
In the scenario where either Patidar or Sarfaraz is chosen, Pathan favors the former only for the fact that Patidar was included in the squad ahead of the prolific Mumbai batter
Pathan, however, doesn’t want to press the panic button after loss in the series opener and backed India to win the five-match rubber.
“We lost just one match but that doesn’t mean our bowlers are not good. I knew we would lose one or two matches but it is good because there is plenty of learning from defeat. I hope we win the series and I still feel India will win the series. The series is not over yet,” he said.
“I was really shocked that we lost but I am still hopeful that we will make a comeback.”
Pathan back under-fire skipper Rohit
He also came in support of skipper Rohit Sharmawho faced some flak for his decisions in the opening Test.
“Rohit Sharma is a good captain. Yes, he made some mistakes in the last match but I hope he will do everything to make a comeback in the series.”
The Asian Legends League is a five-team tournament that is set to be held across Asian countries from March 13 to 21.
Former India pacer Chetan Sharma is the commissioner of the league, which has Indian Royals, Sri Lankan Lions, Afghanistan Pathan, Bangladesh Tiger and Pakistan Stars as the competing teams.
(With PTI inputs)

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