"Discussed multiple times when I was coach": Ravi Shastri irritated by Rohit Sharma's captaincy
Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri expressed frustration with Rohit Sharma's captaincy during Day 2 of the ongoing Boxing Day Test against South Africa at Supersport Park in Centurion. The match hung in the balance as South Africa stood at 49/1, responding to India's first innings total of 245.
Given the prevailing overhead conditions and pitch movement, one might have expected India to aggressively challenge the South African batters in the post-lunch session. However, the initial 40 minutes of the second session saw a barrage of boundaries from Proteas batters Dean Elgar and Tony de Zorzi.
Elgar displayed a positive approach, seizing every opportunity to exert pressure on India. Captain Rohit Sharma's decision to open the session with Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna, instead of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj proved ineffective.
Ravi Shastri livid with Rohit Sharma's decisions
Apart from Shardul's historic seven-wicket haul in the previous South Africa tour, it's unclear why he was given the first over after lunch, followed by debutant Prasidh Krishna from the opposite end.
Shastri sounded irritated and said on commentary, "On any pecking order, these two (Shardul and Prasidh) would have been the last to start the proceedings (after lunch). That's something that we've had a discussion multiple times when I was the coach. And more often than not we decided to go with the best two bowlers at the start of the session.”
By the time Rohit altered the bowling attack, South Africa had raced to 91/1 in their first innings. Both Prasidh, who conceded nearly six runs per over, and Shardul were replaced by Bumrah and Siraj. Consequently, the momentum shifted in India's favor.