South Africa vs India 2018: Rahane, Rahul, Ishant and Parthiv take part in optional net session
Just a day after India's 72-run loss to South Africa in the first Test at Newlands in Cape Town, Indian team management had an optional practice session in the city. Though none of the players who played in the first Test took part in the practice session, the likes of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, opener KL Rahul, pacer Ishant Sharma and wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel were seen honing their skills and sweating it out in the nets, suggesting there are some changes expected to take place in the Indian XI.
The players were accompanied by assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, who is also the batting coach, bowling coach Bharat Arun, throwdown specialist Raghu and some local net bowlers. Rahul and Rahane, who were batting in the adjoining nets, faced Ishant and the net bowlers before facing some throw-downs. Patel was last to join in the session that lasted for around 90 minutes.
One of the major talking points of the first Test was the inclusion of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Jasprit Bumrah at the expense of Rahane, Rahul and Ishant Sharma respectively. Although Bumrah proved his selection in the Test by taking some crucial wickets in the second innings, Rohit and Dhawan failed miserably in the Test scoring just 21 and 32 runs respectively.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli admitted that the ODI openers were picked ahead of the Test specialists, thanks to their current form. With the second Test set to take place at the Supersport Park in Centurion from January 13, it is certain that the Indian team management will ring in some changes to the XI that took the field in Cae Town.
In all likelihood, Rahul will get the nod at the top of the order replacing Dhawan, while Rohit Sharmas place in the team hangs in the balance. He could still get a chance if the team management decides to go in with just four pacers and replace spinner R Ashwin with Ajinkya Rahane.