With a hamstring injury set to rule Mohammed Siraj out of the deciding Test between India and South Africa in Cape Town, former selector and India wicketkeeper MSK Prasad recons it should be Ishant Sharma and ot Umesh Yadav, who should replace Siraj.
Prasad believes that India missed a tall bowler like Ishant in Johannesburg, who could have made use of the surface better.
"We missed a tall fast bowler in Johannesburg and the only one we have is Ishant. On these kinds of tracks, he is my choice ahead of Umesh. Had it been an Indian track that is rugged and feels like a dustbowl, Umesh would be my 'go-to' man," he told PTI.
JP Duminy in an exclusive chat with Cricket.com too had mentioned that the Proteas had the advantage of tall bowlers who could use their height to good effect. He said that their ability to hit the deck harder worked in the favour, unlike India, who did not have that advantage.
Former wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta too agreed with Prasad over Siraj's replacement. "I won't be able to say whether Kohli has the same faith in Ishant's abilities which he had till 2019. But even then in this game, Ishant, if played, could come in handy compared to Umesh.
"Firstly, with that height, he would hit tougher lengths and secondly because of his ability to keep the batters quiet for long periods of time which unfortunately didn't happen on a bowler friendly track at the Wanderers," Dasgupta told PTI.
"Ishant can bowl a good eight to 10 over spell and if we see the trend, a first innings score of 275 is the new 350 in Test matches in these conditions.
"Also Ishant bowls that fourth stump line where the ball can straighten or cut back enough to make the batters play. But yes, team management will check out their practice form too," Dasgupta.
India defeated South Africa at Centurion by 113 runs but the hosts bounced back in the second Test to level the series. With Virat Kohli set to return to lead the team in Cape Town, India will look to seal their first-ever series win on South African soil.