Mumbai: With Ishant Sharma not having the best of Test matches at Kanpur, former India opener Wasim Jaffer has put his weight behind India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj to be included in the second Test of the two-match series against New Zealand to be played at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai starting December 3, adding that Siraj should be picked ahead of Ishant.

Having bowled 22 overs in the first Test, Ishant never really looked threatening to pick up a wicket and although at one point he did keep the runs down by being economical, it probably did not serve the purpose for India.

“If it (Wankhede) gives a little bit of help, you might see three seamers playing. Three (seamers) and two (spinners) could be the combination. If it looks dry, if it looks like spinning, then probably I would say that (Mohammed Siraj) might come in for Ishant,” opined Jaffer on Espncricinfo‘s Match Day on Wednesday.

“Umesh (Yadav), Siraj and three spinners, that could be the combination India could go with (in the second Test),” said Jaffer.

Jaffer also said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee should not drop top-order batters Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from the “crucial South Africa tour”.

Stand-in skipper for the Kanpur Test, Rahane, and Pujara had an unimpressive outing, even as Shreyas Iyer excelled on Test debut, scoring a century and a half-century. But Jaffer said that dropping the batting stalwarts could be counterproductive ahead of the three-Test series against the Proteas.

“I won’t drop Rahane now (for the Wankhede Test) because such a big series coming up in South Africa. I think, regarding Rahane or even Pujara, those discussions can wait till the South African series. Once that series happens, then you can take a call where both these guys stand. But, definitely, going into South African you would want Rahane and Pujara to be playing in such an important series,” said Jaffer.

He, however, said that Mayank Agarwal, who made a total of 30 (13 and 17) runs as an opener in the two innings at Kanpur, should be “given a break”.

“So, I would think about giving Mayank a break and getting (Wriddhiman) Saha to open and everyone (else) remains the same. It all depends on what kind of pitch India gets,” suggested Jaffer.