SA vs IND: India grapple with selection issues ahead of the Wanderers Test

The first two Tests of this series are done and dusted. India has already 0-2 down in the Test series.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

India and South Africa are playing the ‘Freedom Series’ to commemorate their leaders Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Both these leaders share a similar ideology of ‘non-violence’. They helped their nations achieve Independence. The two teams play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is in the tour.

The first two Tests of this series are done and dusted. India has already 0-2 down in the Test series and has lost the series. Also, India is having several problems with their team selection. Skipper Virat Kohli recently lashed out a reporter when questioned about team selection.


Double trouble for India

After losing the first two Tests, the Indian team is under the pump. There were several questions raised regarding the team selection, Sri Lanka series, lack of practice and many more. Of all the questions that the Indian team has faced ever since landing here in South Africa, the one that’s repeatedly been asked is about their selection policy. India has been criticised for their selection. The selection of Rohit Sharma, dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar, backing Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah puzzled everyone.

Virat said that the current form is taken into consideration while selecting the team. Rohit is roped into the team for this very reason. There are clouds of uncertainty over his selection in the third test. Experts believe that Rahane should be played in place of Rohit. Otherwise, India should go a bowler short to accommodate both Rahane and Rohit in the eleven.

Also, Ajinkya Rahane has a proven overseas track record. His averages abroad are higher than his averages in India. However, he struggled in the recent test series against the Lankans. It has not been easy for either of the batsmen here. Sharma, for all the attention he’s been getting, and Rahane for all the attention he’s been missing.

What next for India?

Ajinkya Rahane is a very hardworking person. He doesn’t let failures deter his game or confidence. He has taken to the nets here in South Africa like fish to water. The 29-year-old has batted for eternity and has clearly been middling the ball very well. The batsman, who was very low on confidence flying into SA – for reasons professional and personal – is back in the right touch and is ready to claim his No. 5 spot.

India will also look to rope back Bhuvneshwar Kumar into the team. They might go in with an all-pace attack looking the pitch at the Wanderers. This means Ravichandran Ashwin might be benched for the last Test. It would be interesting to see if they play both Sharma and Rahane or if they will play either one of them.