India vs South Africa Test squad: KL Rahul dropped, Shubman Gill gets maiden Test call-up

Despite being the world’s top-ranked Test side India have struggled with their opening combination, which, in turn, has heaped pressure on the middle order.

FirstCricket Staff, Sep 12, 2019 19:41:06 IST

India's top-order batsman KL Rahul was on Thursday dropped from the Test squad for the series against South Africa while Shubman Gill received his maiden Test call-up. Pacer Umesh Yadav, who was in the squad for the recent West Indies tour, was also dropped despite being included in the Board President's XI.

Rahul scored just 101 runs in two matches in the Tests against West Indies, and his place had come under major doubt following a disappointing show.

Despite being the world’s top-ranked Test side, India have struggled with their opening combination, which, in turn, has put pressure on the middle order.

India vs South Africa Test squad: KL Rahul dropped, Shubman Gill gets maiden Test call-up

File image of KL Rahul. AP

Since 2018, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, and Hanuma Vihari have all opened in Tests but none have been able to cement their spot.

Chief selector said the responsibility of opening the innings will go to Rohit Sharma. "Want to give Rohit Sharma an opportunity to open the innings in Tests," he was quoted as saying.

Experienced duo Dhawan and Vijay were not included after repeat failures while Prithvi Shaw is currently serving a doping ban.

Rahul has played 36 Tests but failed to score a half-century in his last seven matches while his opening partner in West Indies, Mayank Agarwal, has just four Tests under his belt.

With Ajinkya Rahane and Vihari putting in solid performances in the middle order in two Tests against the West Indies, Rohit has had to sit out, prompting calls to try the limited-overs opener at the top of the order in the longest format too.

Gill, 20, inclusion is on expected lines after he top-scored for India A against West Indies A in the Caribbean and emerged as Man of the Series. He became the youngest Indian to score a first-class double hundred during the series.

Hardik Pandya has not been included in the squad which may have to do with fitness concerns.

Virat Kohli and Co kicked off their ICC World Test Championship campaign with a 2-0 series win away at West Indies. The Ravi Shastri-coached side, as a result, top the Championship table with 120 points.

This will be South Africa’s first outing in the World Test Championship. The first of the three Tests will commence on 2 October at Visakhapatnam. The second and third Tests will be played in Pune (10-14 October) and Ranchi (19-23 October) respectively.

India’s squad for 3 Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk),Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill.

Board President’s XI squad for 3-day warm-up game: Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wk), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav

With inputs from Reuters

Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 19:41:06 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252