South Africa vs India 2018: What should be the starting XI for India in the second Test?
In the recently concluded first Test match at the Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa beat India by 72 runs. On a pitch designed to assist pace, swing and bounce, Hardik Pandya's exceptional yet risky knock in the first innings kept India in the contest but a collective failure with the bat in the second innings meant that the visitors were bowled out for 135, chasing a target of 208.
Virat Kohli and the team management made some bold choices as far as the team selection is concerned and the exclusion of Ajinkya Rahane certainly raised quite a few eyebrows. India lost seven wickets for less than 100 runs in both innings and the lack of a proper partnership with the bat led to the defeat. With the upcoming Test set to be played in Centurion from 13th January, we look at the possible starting XI for India.
Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul are the three openers in the squad. Both Vijay and Dhawan struggled against high-quality swing, seam and pace bowling in the first Test but the presence of Vijay at the crease brings out a sense of calmness in the dressing room.
Lokesh Rahul is technically stronger than both Vijay and Dhawan and certainly has the temperament to score big runs. He should replace Shikhar Dhawan as the second opener.