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We don’t decide playing XI as per outside opinion: Virat Kohli

Virat defended his deputy ahead of the 2nd Test.

Virat Kohli
Indian skipper Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli made quite a few bold calls for the first Test match against the Proteas. The biggest one was sidelining the regular Test vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane. Rohit Sharma who has been in great touch was given a chance ahead of Rahane. With Rohit clearly struggling in both the innings of the Newlands Test, Kohli’s decision of dropping specialist, Rahane was criticized.

On a similar note, he picked Shikhar Dhawan’s experience over KL Rahul’s form. The aggressive opener suffered the same fate. Facing some exceptional bowling from the South African pacers, Dhawan couldn’t score runs at the top. His feet lacked movement and he stuck to his limited-overs habits.

Rahane averages well over 50 outside India in Tests. He has played crucial knocks for Team India in the past, his hundreds in New Zealand, England and West Indies have come in tough batting conditions. On the other hand, Rohit averages a mere 25 and has no century in Test cricket outside India. But the limited-overs specialist wasn’t given enough chances in the whites. Despite the poor numbers outside India, the world knows what he is capable of.

The playing XI is not decided based on outside opinions says, Kohli

Responding to the criticism on Rahane’s omission, skipper Kohli lashed out at the critics. Speaking in the press conference ahead of the second Test against South Africa, he said, “Its funny. Before the last Test, everyone was saying Ajinkya Rahane should not be included in playing XI. Now, in one week, that has changed. Everyone is saying he should be. We don’t decide the playing XI as per outside opinion.”

India’s second Test against South Africa will begin from Saturday, 13th January at Supersport Park in Centurion. The second game is a decider and the touring party will hope to come back from the loss in the first Test of the Freedom series.

Except for Hardik Pandya, no Indian batsman crossed the forty mark. However, Ravi Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar supported Pandya to an extent in the first inning.

The top order is the key and India might face a similar situation if the top 3 batsmen fail to score runs. However, Rahane might be brought back into the team for the decider. With the Centurion pitch offering very little for Ashwin, India might go with four seamers. However, Virat has proved to be unpredictable with the team selection on quite a few occasions.

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