No place for Rahane as India makes three changes for Centurion Test

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Virat Kohli with Faf du Plessis at the toss in Super Sport Park in Centurion on Saturday.

Debasis Sen, Centurion: As was expected India made three changes to their squad that played in the first test against South Africa at Newlands. Ishant Sharma replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar while Wriddhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan made way for Parthiv Patel and KL Rahul.

It was a bit baffling as Rahane, who has succeeded in overseas conditions is yet to find the favours of the team management. The Mumbai batsman has the best average among all Indian batsmen outside the sub-continent.

Wriddhiman Saha was left out as he had a hamstring injury. The Bengal stumper was replaced by Parthiv Patel. KL Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order while Ishant Sharma supplanted Bhuvneshwar Kumar because Kohli felt he would get more bounce on this pitch. South Africa made one change – local pace sensation Lungi Ngidi to debut in place of the injured Dale Steyn.

Indian captain looked disappointed of having lost the toss. According to Kohli, “We’d have batted as well,” said Kohli. “There seems to be a lot lesser grass. Day one first session is always tough for the batsmen but we wanted to take that challenge.”

The changes India made were more or less on expected lines but dropping Kumar was a bit extreme, especially after his superb first innings outing of 4/87 in Newlands.

The hosts made just one change with Lungi Ngidi making his debut in place of an injured Dale Steyn.

Teams

India: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Morne Morkel.

 

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