India started their home Test season with a sensational 203-run victory over South Africa in the first Test match in Visakhapatnam. Captain Virat Kohli took many big selection decisions in the opening Test match of the three-match Test series. India went in with a four-bowler combination comprising of two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, while Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma were the two fast bowlers.
However, in the ongoing second Test match in Pune, an extra seam bowling option in Umesh Yadav has replaced Hanuma Vihari in the playing XI. The last Test match in Pune was between India and Australia, where the pitch came under the scanner as it assisted the spinners a lot. The International Cricket Council (ICC) gave a ‘poor’ rating to the Pune track.
At the toss, Kohli noted that Vihari is unfortunate to miss out as they wanted a fifth attacking option. The Indian captain stated that the pitch will suit the batters on the first day of the Test match.
“It’s good to win the toss and bat first, the wicket is probably best for batting on the first day and a half, it eventually turns from day 2 and 3. Hanuma Vihari misses out, Umesh Yadav replaces him. The surface is a bit hard here (hence) still keeping a fifth attacking option to back Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami. Just strengthening our bowling all round,” quoted Virat Kohli after winning the toss in the Pune Test match.