Reports: Rahul likely to replace Dhawan; Rohit might play ahead of Rahane in the second Test
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The Indian team management faced a lot of criticisms over the selection of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah ahead of Test specialists like KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma for the first Test against South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town.
After beginning the series with a loss, Virat Kohli and co. are likely to make one change going into the second Test in Centurion. According to reports in Times of India, opener KL Rahul will replace Dhawan in the playing XI while Rohit will be given a chance ahead of vice-captain Rahane once again.
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After replacing Rahane in the playing XI, Rohit scored a combined total of 21 in the Test while Dhawan managed to score 11 more than what his opening partner in ODIs managed to do.
Bumrah repaid the faith the selectors had in him by picking up 4/112 in the Test including a three-wicket haul in the first session on day 4.
The report suggested that Rahul could make his way back at the cost of Dhawan and not Vijay, given that the latter still happens to be a more experienced hand given the conditions in South African. Yet, it’ll have to be seen what skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have in mind after they visit Centurion on Thursday.
"Meanwhile, the debate over picking Rohit Sharma ahead of Ajinkya Rahane is likely to continue because the team will continue with the former over the latter simply because of the form and runs he carried with him from the home series against Sri Lanka," the report added.
After the 72-run loss in the first Test, the second Test between both the teams will start at the Supersport Park in Centurion from January 13.
Replacing Dhawan with Rahul at the top of the order was imminent, especially after the way the southpaw batted in the first Test and it is good that the team management is likely to do that for the second Test.
Rahane is someone who has established himself in the Indian team, thanks to his performances away from home. Dropping him at the back of one poor series at home is not understandable. If the team management wants Rohit in the XI, it should not come at the expense of Rahane.