The second test match between South Africa and India started at SuperSport Park Centurion where the host had only one change in the squad and whereas the visitors made three big changes in the team. Earlier according to cricket experts like Sourav Ganguly said India should go with the same playing XI but that did not happen. Ishant Sharma came in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul for Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel in for Saha. Apart from these add-ons, there was no name of Ajinkya Rahane on the playing list.
The most astonishing moment was when Ajinkya Rahane was not included in the playing XI for the second test against Proteas. Ajinkya Rahane who was the test vice-captain of team India did not feature in the decider test match despite India's poor batting display in the first test match that led South Africa to win the first test match by 72 runs.
Virat Kohli would not be worried about his bowling front at all but batting is an issue where the team is lagging behind Ajinkya Rahane could easily feel that gap and make India level the series. Rahane who played his last test match against Sri Lanka at New Delhi has a better and convincing record in overseas test matches.
The last tour India had in South Africa was a plus point for the latter as he scored a century on Proteas soil and 86 odd runs to prove his worth in the team. Rahane averages over 40 runs in test cricket and surely India will miss him in the second test match.
Every kind of situation was possible if Rahane were there in the first test, he could have easily stuck in between with Hardik Pandya who tried to demolish South Africa in the first innings of the first match after hitting boundaries over the park.
Kohli also urged in an interview "that it is all about finding the right balance, before the start of the test series people were saying he should not be playing the first match and it's funny how people change their statement".
Rahane has been a fantastic player in South Africa in every condition away from home with probably becoming the most consistent player in the team. India is remarkably a strong test team but Rahane would have added some more solid strength to the batting line up.
Rahane is one of the most experienced players playing test cricket for team India, on the other part India would really miss Ajinkya's presence in the match as he is not only a good batsman but a great fielder too.
Ajinkya Rahane is as good a player as Kohli in Test cricket for India. He is a very intense cricketer. There should not be a worry regarding his place on India’s Test side and it is just a matter of time.
India will definitely look out to bring him in the last test match which is supposed to take place at Johannesburg later this month.