On Thursday, the Selection Committee announced the team for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa. Opening batsman KL Rahul didn’t find a place in the squad, reason being his inconsistent performance in the recently concluded two-match Test series against the West Indies where Rahul had failed to generate numbers. The opening batsman had managed to score only 101 runs in four innings bringing his average to 25.25.
Rahul’s exit from the Test squad means Rohit Sharma will open for the Test team alongside Mayank Agarwal in the home series that is scheduled to begin next month. Under-19 World Cup star Shubham Gill also found a place in the squad.
Chairman of Selectors MSK Prasad said, “With regards to Shubham Gill, we look at him as an opener as well as middle order batsman. We are looking at him as back-up for both the slots. As he keeps playing more and more, he will get his opportunities because he is a player for all three formats.”
Cheif Selector MSK Prasad also stated that, after Rohit Sharma’s consistent performance the Selectors want him to open for Test formats. A few days back, former captain Sourav Ganguly had also made the same suggestion where he had advocated in favour of Rohit opening for the team in longer format.In the recently concluded West Indies Test series, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari had done well with the bat and have retained their same place against South Africa. Hanuma Vihari had the highest number of runs (289) against the Caribbeans that earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ title.
India’s first Test against South Africa will begin on 2nd October in Visakhapatnam, while the second in be held in Pune and the third will be played in Ranchi.
Team for the Test series:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wc), R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shubham Gill and Ishant Sharma