Thu, 20 Jan 2022

New Delhi [India], December 2 (ANI): Everyone in the country is anxious about the new Omicron variant and so are the players as this virus has spread rapidly in Africa. With the Indian team travelling to South Africa this month there are questions being raised whether they should send the players looking at the current scenario or call it off.

Former India Test cricket and selector feels that the BCCI is a responsible board and it will find a solution for this problem and make the best decision in the interest of players' health and well-being.

"I know BCCI will clear the air soon and yes it is a matter of concern that we have to play in a country where the third variant of COVID-19 has been detected but I have faith in BCCI that it will find a solution for this. They will take the right decision when it comes to the health of the players," the former India cricketer and selector Sarandeep Singh told ANI.

Earlier today ANI sources in the BCCI found out that the Indian board is in discussion with Cricket South Africa that the series might get pushed back looking at the current situation in the Rainbow Nation. The Sports Minster Anurag Thakur also made things clear in this regard saying that BCCI should speak to the Indian government before sending a team to South Africa for a full-fledged tour.

The former selector has taken a dig at the current selection panel as they rested quite a few key players and youngster Rishabh Pant for ongoing India versus New Zealand Test series.

"Not only India but every team is playing cricket and this bio-bubble is mandatory for a long time. Yes, it's tough for players but we can't make it as an excuse that it's affecting our game. You have enough time to take rest and your family is also with you in this bubble so you can't say that this stress level is bothering you. I dont understand why Rishabh Pant was rested as he is just 22 and you have to make him realise the burden and pressure a player go through which you don't," said Singh.

With Team India failing to deliver the knockout punch in Kanpur Test the series is still on level terms and the Test match in Mumbai becomes a must-win game to seal the series.

"I know Rahul Dravid is a good coach and during his days he was a wonderful batsman and in my tenure, he coached India's Under-19 team very well. He can lead this team well and I have full faith that he will talk to players after every match and if anyone is not in form then he will guide him too," said Singh.

One of the biggest concerns for India over the past few months has been the form of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. The Mumbai lad has been a pale shadow of his old self and also failed to deliver with the bat in Kanpur. His poor form has raised a lot of eyebrows and some are even questioning his selection in India's playing eleven.

"Rahane is out of form but he is a good player. We can't let him sit out on the basis of his recent poor form. He did so well in past and we have to consider all those innings. So, you can't throw him out and if u do so then what will be your batting order. How will you manage things? Will you promote Iyer up the order? I don'tthink it will be a good decision now," explained Singh.

India's standout peformer with the bat in Kanpur was debutant Shreyas Iyer who scored a century in the first innings and a half-century in the second innings. His performance is going to keep every batsman on their toes, making them realize that performance is the only way to cement a place in the Indian side.

"Shreyas is a class player he showed how talented he is and his batting shows that he can play long innings at any time. I had confidence in him and he proved that investing in him was worthy. He also gave strength to lower batting order," said Singh.

With the test match in Mumbai being a do-or-die affair all eyes will be on skipper Virat Kohli on how he is going to lead the side after coming back from a break and this is also his first test match after giving up captaincy in the shortest format of the game. If the weather permits then Virat Kohli and Co. will have everything to play for. (ANI)

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