India drop CSK's INR 4 crore recruit and Rajasthan Royals lead Spinner for 2nd Test against South Africa
India implemented two changes to their playing eleven in an effort to recover from the defeat suffered in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa. The team management decided to omit Shardul Thakur, the recent INR 4 crore recruit for CSK and introduced an additional fast bowler in Mukesh Kumar. Despite a less-than-impressive debut in the Boxing Day Test, Prasidh Krishna maintained his position in the lineup.
The choice to field four frontline seamers was influenced by the return of Ravindra Jadeja to the playing eleven, displacing off-spinner and premier Rajasthan Royals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Although there was speculation about playing both spinners, especially with the favorable weather conditions in Cape Town and a pitch conducive to batting, India ultimately favored Jadeja over Ashwin, disregarding the off-spinner's economical performance in the first Test.
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Ravindra Jadeja's inclusion marked his first Test appearance in South Africa in a decade, with his last match in South African soil dating back to 2013.
"Would've batted first as well. Looks a good pitch. We understand the challenge of batting first on that pitch, but nevertheless, there will be enough in the pitch for the seamers, so hopefully we'll cash in on it. Important to forget what's happened in the past. We understand the importance of getting runs on the board and getting 20 wickets. Didn't happen in the first game but we're upbeat about what we can achieve here. Two changes. Jadeja comes back for Ashwin. Shardul misses out, Mukesh Kumar replaces him," Rohit said at the toss.
India XI - Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Ravindra Jadeja (In for Ravichandran Ashwin), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Mukesh Kumar (In for Shardul Thakur).