Team India’s playing XI for the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town took a lot of people by surprise as there was one glaring omission in the list. Ajinkya Rahane, who has done exceptionally well in India’s previous cycle of overseas tours, was left out from the team at the expense of Rohit Sharma. On the other hand, the Indian team management have opted for Shikhar Dhawan instead of the more technically sound opener KL Rahul.
Considering all these bizarre moves which eventually resulted in 72-run loss for the visitors, former India wicketkeeper and chairman of selectors Kiran More has said that Rahane and Rahul’s are must in the playing XI.
"You have to bring Rahane and Rahul back in the playing XI for the next Test. It also depends on whether the team opts for five or six batsmen, but after this Test match, it is certain that India need to strengthen their batting," Kiran More was quoted by TOI as saying.
The 55-year-old More also believes that Newlands Test was India's best chance to register a win in the series.
"Of course, it was. There couldn't have been a better way to win a Test after the bowlers did a phenomenal job to bring India back into the game. Another partnership of 50 runs would have sealed the game in India's favour," opined More.
Taking about Virat Kohli’s aggression on the field, the ex glovesman said: "That is the way Virat Kohli is. Everyone has a style of his own. Virat's aggression on the field doesn't really affect the morale of the team. The fact of the matter is that we lost the opening Test and need to show more character in the rest of the two Tests to win the series."
Just a day ago, legendary India skipper Sourav Ganguly had said that Rahane and Rahul’s past performances in overseas conditions should have been taken into consideration while selecting the team.
“The history of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in overseas conditions is not very good. Their record is basically chalk and cheese when it comes to overseas Tests. It is fine to go by current form, but they should not have overlooked the performances of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane in overseas conditions in the past few years,” Ganguly had told India Today.
“Virat (Kohli) has shown a lot of trust in Rohit and Shikhar. It seems highly unlikely that they will not be given a second chance. But, the top order and middle order failed to perform in the first Test and Rahane will be a valuable addition to the line-up,” he further added.
The second Test between South Africa and India will start on January 13 at SuperSport Park, Centurion while Johannesburg will host the third and final Test from January 24.