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KL Rahul likely to open in Centurion Test, suspense looms over Ajinkya Rahane's induction

KL Rahul likely to open in Centurion Test, suspense looms over Ajinkya Rahane's induction

Johannesburg, Jan 11: Team India suffered their first Test defeat after a gap of nine games when they lost the opening game against South Africa by 72 runs.

India tour of SA full schedule

Virat Kohli and his boys had a reality check when they witnessed a batting collapse in both the innings. A star-studded Indian batting line-up barely managed to cross the 200-run mark in the first innings while castled for 135 in the second innings.

India's defeat due to poor batting raised several eyebrows as many questioned the logic behind benching Ajinkya Rahane, who is best equipped for playing overseas. Kohli's decision to pick Shikhar Dhawan as the main opener and not going with KL Rahul also received criticism.

Talking to India Today, former India captain Sourav Ganguly also seemed unimpressed with team management's choice of players for the first Test. As per Ganguly, the team, perhaps, relied too much upon Kohli and Murali Vijay's batting exploits on foreign soil.

Ganguly said, "History of Rohit Sharma and history of Shikhar Dhawan in overseas conditions are not very good. You look at their records, it's like chalk and cheese when they go away and when they are in India. So you are basically depending on Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli as the two best performers in overseas conditions.

"Look at Cheteshwar Pujara. His 13 of 14 Test hundreds have come in sub-continent conditions. I keep saying about KL Rahul because he has scored runs in Australia, he has scored runs in West Indies and Sri Lanka. It's not just about form, it's also about where people score runs. But let's not panic too much. I was not surprised by the result. I have tremendous regard for Virat Kohli and we will see an improved performance in the next game."

Ganguly opined that Team India might go with Rahul in place of Dhawan and Rahane is likely to replace Rohit in Centurion Test. Now reports have emerged that Rahul is definitely going to feature in the playing eleven in the second Test while there is still some suspense over Rahane.

A Times of India report has confirmed that the Karnataka opener, Rahul, will return to the playing eleven at the Centurion for the second Test match starting Saturday. Rahul will make it to the side in place of Dhawan.

The report further states that skipper Kohli is going to give some more chance to Rohit Sharma, so the Mumbaikar is also going to be a part of the final eleven.

However, it will be interesting to see if Rahane makes it to the side because if he comes into the side then he'll come at the expense of a bowler if Indians decide to go with 6 batsmen, excluding wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

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    Story first published: Thursday, January 11, 2018, 12:05 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jan 11, 2018
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