The Shastri-Kohli partnership seems to work well because they tend to agree on just about everything. While there are surely some positives that emerge from this working relationship, there have been a number of blunders, especially with regard to test match selection that has hurt India dearly and disappointed billions of fans.
The selection blunders have been clearly seen on recent away tours which include South Africa, England and most noticeably Australia. Questions must be asked by the BCCI regarding the decision making on the final team 11!
Critical Selection Errors Continue
It was just a few months ago that Shastri-Kohli made a critical error in the first test in England by omitting left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav who troubled England in the shorter formats of the game. They tried to make up for their error stupidly by playing K Yadav in the second test on a wicket that was better suited for swing bowling and India paid the price.
One would have thought that Shastri-Kohli would have learnt their lessons but it appears they haven’t. India decided to play four fast bowlers for the second test at Perth as they believed there was a lot of bounce in the pitch. This was only the third time in India’s history of test cricket that they played without a spinner.
Omitting R Jadeja
The decision cost India dearly as it was obviously to everyone that the inclusion of R Jadeja in the absence of an injured R Ashwin would have made things difficult for the Aussies given that their off-spinner N Lyon took 5 wickets in the first innings and 3 crucial wickets in the second innings.
Including KL Rahul
How many more chances must an out-of form KL Rahul be given? Rahul has had a miserable run in test cricket and should have been dropped during the England tour. For some reason, the Shastri-Kohli combination believe that international test cricket is the right place for Rahul to regain his form.
While KL Rahul does have a lot of talent, he should have been sent back to first class cricket to score lots of runs, make big hundreds and regain his confidence. India let go of S Dhawan who was in good form and also did not give M Agarwal a chance in the first two tests.
Omitting B Kumar
For some strange reason both Shastri-Kohli refuse to play B Kumar who can not only swing the ball but can also strengthen the batting order. It was a huge mistake to play U Yadav in place of B Kumar as Yadav leaked runs and it also gave India a long tail.
Australia have now evened the series 1-1 and if the Shastri-Kohli combination continue to make these selection blunders, it will be yet another test series loss in Australia.