No place for senior players in the Test team for the South Africa tour
India will tour South Africa for an all-format tour starting next month with three T20Is followed by as many ODIs and two Test matches. After much speculation and rumours, the BCCI has announced the squad for all three formats. There are some interesting names in all the squads, with plenty to look forward to.
Rohit Sharma will continue leading the Test side, with Jasprit Bumrah named his deputy for the red-ball format. Yashasvi Jaiswal, who impressed one and all in his debut series against the West Indies, has also retained his position. Virat Kohli, who is rested for the white-ball series, will be part of the Test matches.
KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer missed the West Indies tour due to injuries, but they are back for the two Test matches in the Rainbow nation. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prasidh Krishna are also included in the squad. Gaikwad is part of all three formats on the South Africa tour.
Mohammed Shami is part of the Test matches, but his availability is subject to fitness. He is undergoing medical treatment, according to a press release by the BCCI. If Shami gets fit in time, he will join the remaining members of the team in South Africa.
No place for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara
The experienced duo, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have not found a place in the Test match squad. Pujara wasn’t part of the West Indies series in July, but Rahane was with the team then. Both have been snubbed from the squad, with the management bringing in young faces for the white-ball format.
While the doors aren’t closed completely, the BCCI seems to have moved on from Rahane and Pujara. Both were mediocre for a long time and rightly dropped from the squad. The management tried Shubman Gill in the middle order, and with KL Rahul back as well, he might also be slotted to bat in the middle.
Yashasvi Jaiswal made one fifty as well as a century in the Caribbean nation. He is expected to continue opening with the captain, Rohit Sharma. Ishan Kishan is another wicketkeeper along with KL Rahul.
India failed to win the series despite winning the first Test last time. They have a balanced squad and will look to clinch the series this time around. The two-match red-ball series will start with a boxing day Test in Centurion before the caravan moves to Cape Town.
India’s squad for the Test series vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna.
*Subject to fitness