Team India retains its trust in senior pros for South Africa tour, will it backfire?

The Selection Committee, headed by former India pacer Chetan Sharma recently announced an 18-member Test Squad that will face the Proteas in their den. Amongst all the controversies that have ridden Indian Cricket in the recent past, a left hamstring injury has ruled Rohit Sharma out of South Africa Tests. As reported earlier, Rohit Sharma was named the captain for the white-ball formats while Virat is still leading the team in the most elite form of the game.

The split captaincy formula has been devised in various cricketing systems globally like that in Australia and England; however, it remains to see if split captaincy is the right way forward in a cricket frenzy country where emotions overpower practicality.

 Meanwhile, Priyank Panchal has got a much-deserved call up to the Indian set-up after having played a ton of matches at the first-class level. The Gujarat Opener has been on the radar of the selectors for quite a while, having led the India ‘A’ side on their recent tour to South Africa.

However, a spot in the playing XI seems a distant dream for the youngster as Mayank Agarwal put up a spectacular show in the recently concluded Mumbai Test and deserves a place ahead of him.


             Stat Credit: ESPNcricnfo


The senior duo of Pujara and Rahane has managed to hold on to their spot despite a string of poor performances in the recent past. In all likelihood, the clock could be ticking away for the duo considering the talent pool India possesses at the moment.

Hanuma Vihari has paved his way back into the squad after a string of good scores with the ‘A’ squad on their tour to South Africa. A good outing for Shreyas Iyer in his debut test clears the way for him into the team, while his Mumbai teammate Suryakumar Yadav has been left out without playing a game.

KS Bharat, who impressed with his glovework in the absence of Wriddhiman Saha, makes way for Rishabh Pant who is back after being rested for the home series.

The left-arm spin duo of Axar and Jadeja have been left out owing to injuries, which is a big blow to team India’s balance as it leaves the team without its best spin bowling allrounder overseas.

Jayant Yadav retains his place as the 2nd spinner alongside Ravi Ashwin. His batting abilities mean that he could also be played as a bowling allrounder if need be.

Bumrah and Shami return as the strike fast bowlers, while Thakur was back too after his heroics in Australia last season. Meanwhile, Ishant holds onto his spot despite some ordinary bowling in the recent past. It’ll be interesting to see if the management goes with the experience of Ishant or the fire of Siraj when they pick the eleven for the Boxing Day Test at Centurion.

It will be challenging since it’s the first tour for the Men in Blue after such a significant change in the leadership group. However, Gabba was a challenge too, and the rest is history. 

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