With so much of focus on the return of Ajinkya Rahane for the second Test in Centurion, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has said that India cannot go in with a different XI in every game.In other words, he is against the idea of changes of Indian line up in the second Test. Saying this, he is also negating the chances of Rahane's comeback in the team.
Writing in his column for TOI, Ganguly suggested that Indian team should not make any changes for the second Test which starts from Saturday in Centurion.
"Virat Kohli should not worry about such things [team combination]," Ganguly said. "Although KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane have a good history of scoring runs away from the sub-continent and have better records as batsmen, India can't just chop-and-change in every game. They have shown faith in the current batting and that should continue in the next Test as well. They still have two more Tests to play and I feel all the matches will produce results."
The former captain has also backed the five-bowler strategy saying the reason India came close to securing a win in Newlands was because of their ability to take 20 wickets which will continue to be the case in the upcoming matches.
"There has been a lot of talk about the combination. India did the right thing by going in with five bowlers. As much as scoring runs is important in a bid to win Test matches, getting wickets is also key. The reason why we were thinking of an Indian win at some point is because the bowlers got 20 wickets and that will continue to be an important criteria over the next two Tests," he observed.
Ganguly, on the other hand, has come out backing Hardik Pandya to keep up the good performance in Centurion. Ganguly was impressed with the 24-year-old's performance but feels that India's batting performance as a unit needs much improvement.
"Hardik Pandya came good with the bat and India should persist with him. The problem lies with the overall batting performance, and this has to be fixed soon. There will be lot of talk about players who were not in the playing eleven. That's always the case when you lose," Ganguly concluded.