India vs South Africa 2019 | Playing XI for Visakhapatnam Test announced- R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha set to make a return
The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), in a recent tweet announced India's playing XI against South Africa for the first Test of the Freedom Series as part of the Gandhi Mandela Trophy in Visakhapatnam and one of the biggest talking points was the return of Ravichandran Ashwin, who will be returning to represent the national side after a long gap of nine months.
Yet another interesting point of discussion was the inclusion of the experienced Wriddhiman Saha over Rishabh Pant, with the latter losing out on the wicket-keeper's spot despite putting up quality knocks in his short Test career.
With Rohit Sharma set to open the innings along with Mayank Agarwal, the middle order will be beefed up with the presence of Cheteshwar Pujara coming in at No.3, while skipper Virat Kohli expected to slot into his regular No.4 position.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who was in red-hot form in West Indies, will join forces with Hanuma Vihari, who will be coming in at No.6, while Wriddhiman Saha, who will be coming into the side at the expense of Rishabh Pant will complete the middle order.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja both have the ability to contribute with the bat in hand and will look to make their presence felt in the lower order. The bowling unit will be led by Ishant Sharma, while the ever-impressive Mohammed Shami will partner Ishant with the new ball.
Rohit Sharma seeks to cement his spot at the top of the order
Rohit Sharma has been handed a new opportunity to add life to his Test career with a spot at the top of the batting order alongside Mayank Agarwal. With the likes of Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul out of the picture, atleast for a short while, Rohit has been backed to do well at the top by coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli, with the latter looking forward to a good show from the experienced opener.
A ban on Prithvi Shaw and the poor form of KL Rahul can turn out to be a blessing in disguise for India as Rohit, who will be aiming to cement his place for good this time around.
Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha look for a new beginning
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also claimed a spot in the playing XI. He last featured in a Test match back in Adelaide, during India's tour of Australia in 2018 and has been out since then due to injuries or, owing to a string of impressive performances from the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
Yet another interesting addition to the squad was that of Wriddhiman Saha, who makes his comeback into the side after recovering from a shoulder surgery that he had to undergo in July last year. With skipper Kohli claiming that Saha will always be backed for as a pure wicket-keeper, given his ability to play under pressure, the former will be keen to make an impression and contribute to the side's success with bat and gloves.