Jadeja for Ashwin, Mukesh for Krishna: Pathan suggests important changes for second Test against South Africa

Cape Town, January 2, 2023

With the upcoming second Test against South Africa looming on the horizon, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has shared his insights on India’s strategy to bounce back after a disheartening defeat in the Boxing Day Test.

India, after succumbing to an innings and 32 runs defeat at SuperSport Park, Centurion, is eager to level the series and salvage their South African tour with a positive outcome.

Jadeja’s Return Crucial, Says Pathan

In an exclusive discussion on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan advocated for the return of Ravindra Jadeja to the playing XI. Expressing his viewpoint, Pathan emphasized, “If fit, Ravindra Jadeja should return to the team. Ashwin performed well on the pitch, but we felt the absence of Jadeja’s control at number 7 in Centurion.”

Jadeja’s all-round abilities and his ability to control the game make him a valuable asset, particularly in challenging conditions overseas.

Bowling Lineup Dilemma

Pathan delved into the potential changes in the bowling lineup, particularly considering the struggles of Prasidh Krishna in the Boxing Day Test. While acknowledging that Rohit Sharma might prefer continuity, Pathan suggested, “If considering a change, Mukesh Kumar could replace Prasidh Krishna. Yet, if you believe Prasidh is confident in the nets, then he should be supported for the second Test.”

Prasidh Krishna, making his Test debut in Centurion, faced a challenging initiation, picking up one wicket while conceding 93 runs in 19 overs.

Mukesh Kumar in Consideration

Discussing the prospective inclusion of Mukesh Kumar, Pathan highlighted the need to assess the confidence of Prasidh Krishna in the nets before making any decision. He added, “If you’re Rohit Sharma and prefer sticking with the same bowling attack, that’s fine. However, if considering a change, Mukesh Kumar could replace Prasidh Krishna.”

As the cricketing world awaits the crucial second Test in Cape Town, the management faces critical decisions in reshaping the playing XI. The insights from Irfan Pathan add a layer of perspective to the strategic considerations for India as they aim to bounce back in the series and end their South African tour on a high note.