India is currently crossing swords with South Africa in a three-match ODI series and the Men in Blue led by Shikhar Dhawan lost the first ODI by 9 runs on October 6, Thursday. The teams are playing the second match of the series, and a win here might keep the Indian team alive in the series. Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer said that the Indian team management must give an opportunity to Shahbaz Ahmed in place of Ishan Kishan or Ruturaj Gaikwad.
During a conversation with ESPNCricinfo, Jaffer said that the team needs to back Shahbaz Ahmed. Emphasizing his Indian T20 League records, Jaffer said that the allrounder will be a perfect replacement for Deepak Chahar in the squad.
“Shahbaz Ahmed should play as he would be helpful in the bowling department and strengthen the batting unit. You cannot go ahead with only five bowling options in 50-over cricket. You can replace him with Ruturaj Gaikwad or Ishan Kishan,” said Jaffer to ESPNCricinfo.
As it turns out, Shahbaz Ahmed was selected in the playing XI, while Ruturaj Gaikwad was given a rest.
Washington Sundar replaces Chahar in the Indian squad
Men in Blue will approach the game in the absence of Deepak Chahar, who was ruled out of the series after having a stiff back. The Indian cricket board confirmed on Saturday that the pacer will head to National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation and Washington Sundar has replaced him in the squad.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee named Washington Sundar as replacement for Deepak Chahar for the remainder of the ODI series against South Africa. Mr. Chahar had a stiffness in his back after the third and final T20I against South Africa in Indore and did not feature in India’s Playing XI in the first ODI in Lucknow,” the board said in a statement on Saturday.
Sundar and Ahmed would look to make the most of the opportunity in the series and would also look to seal their place for the upcoming 50-over World Cup in 2023. Both allrounders will look to take India home in the decider and level the series.