Team India made two changes in the playing XI for the third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town. While captain Virat Kohli made a return to the team in place of Hanuma Vihari, senior pacer Umesh Yadav replaced Mohammed Siraj, who was forced to miss the game due to a hamstring injury.
The inclusion of Umesh marked the participation of all pace bowlers bar one – Ishant Sharma. The right-armer, who had been a first-team regular until a few months ago in the longest format of the game, didn’t make an appearance in the Test series against South Africa and former Proteas captain Shaun Pollock insisted that there needs to be strong communication between the team management and Ishant about his future in the whites.
“I think the communication needs to be good. The guy needs to be respected for what he has done,” Pollock told Cricbuzz.
“You need to be honest with him and you need to give him the exact reason. If the reason was ‘we think you would be better suited if there were no left-handers,’ he just has to accept that.”
Pollock – a former pacer himself – also said that it must have been difficult for Ishant to sit in the dressing room throughout the series, especially considering the pitches in the first two Tests.
“It’s not easy, when you have played that much amount of cricket and have given some really good service. The conditions are good in South Africa and he must be dying for an opportunity, particularly after those two pitches. He must be thinking, ‘Gosh if I could just have a game here, I’m sure I could make an impact’,” said Pollock.
“I hope the communication with him has been good because he deserves that and then he has to assess where he is at.”