India vs South Africa: Ajinkya Rahane's poor home run puts his spot in doubt for ongoing Test series

The lure to play an extra bowler in Hardik Pandya along with an in-form Rohit Sharma in the opening Test against South Africa has cast doubts over Ajinkya Rahane's place in the playing XI despite having the best away record among the current crop of batsmen.

PTI, January 05, 2018

Cape Town: The lure to play an extra bowler in Hardik Pandya along with an in-form Rohit Sharma in the opening Test against South Africa has cast doubts over Ajinkya Rahane's place in the playing XI despite having the best away record among the current crop of batsmen.

File image of Ajinkya Rahane. AFP

File image of Ajinkya Rahane. AFP

While the Indian team skipped the optional session today, batting coach Sanjay Bangar dropped loose hints that the limited overs vice-captain Sharma may get a chance based on his current form.

"Again, it all depends on the team composition. All of them are batting really well. Rohit, on the back of his performances across formats, is in with a chance of playing," Bangar said at the pre-match conference.

Rahane's form has been wretched since the start of the home series against England in late 2016. Since the start of the series, Rahane has scored 617 runs at an average of 26.82 over a period of 14 Tests with the only hundred coming against a below-par Sri Lanka at Pallekele.

With Hardik Pandya providing multiple options on a hard deck, there are rumours that the Indian team management might take a bold call despite Rahane's brilliant overseas record and an average of 60 plus outside the sub-continent.

As of now, the only thing that is going in Rahane's favour is his record in countries like South Africa, England and Australia.

On the other hand, Rohit, since his comeback, has been prolific in the shorter version having scored his third double hundred in ODIs and joint fastest T20 hundred – both against Sri Lanka.

More importantly, in the two matches that he has played on his comeback to Test cricket, Rohit had scores of 102 no, 65 and 50 not out.

It is learnt that over the past six days, Rohit's form in the nets has convinced the team management that he is in good touch.

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5599 124
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3279 102
6 Australia 3474 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3270 131
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114