IND vs SA: Ajinkya Rahane excluded from Cape Town Test to accommodate Virat Kohli Test: Gautam Gambhir - Sports1
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IND vs SA: Ajinkya Rahane excluded from Cape Town Test to accommodate Virat Kohli Test: Gautam Gambhir

Former India player Gautam Gambhir believes Ajinkya Rahane should be dropped in order to bring India Test captain Virat Kohli back to Cape Town for a series tiebreaker against South Africa.

Kohli missed the second Test in Johannesburg with upper back spasms, with KL Rahul leading the team in his absence. Kohli confirmed in his pre-game press conference that he will return to action when he is fully fit.

Hanuma Vihari replaces Virat Kohli in Johannesburg

Hyderabad batsman Hanuma Vihari replaced India’s Kohli for the Johannesburg Test. Vihari was unbeaten in 40 overs as he pushed India’s lead to 239 with some firing in the second inning.

Hanuma Vihari.Photo – Getty

Rahane, on the other hand, picked a golden duck in the first innings, but in the second innings he set up a stand of 111 points with Cheteshwar Pujara, covering it with his 78 balls 58.

Gautam Gambhir prefers to drop Ajinkya Rahane over Hanuma Vihari

Gambhir believes that Vihari should solidify his position in the middle class at the expense of Rahane.

“India need to give their all as they go into the final Test. South Africa will be happy with a draw in the third Test and if they beat India they will win the lottery. Virat Kohli is ready to return to the team. Again , I won’t win many fans for saying that, but I will ignore Ajinkya Rahane to accommodate the India captain,” Gambier wrote in his Times of India column.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.Photo - Getty
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.Photo – Getty

“I’m more in favour of Hanuma Vihari continuing to be middling. Even in the past, Vihari was conveniently left out to accommodate senior batsmen. I’m not sure how that should look after a young talent. I have nothing against Rahane Any opinion, he’s a good guy with a good heart and showed some form in the last game as well. But if I have anything to do with Indian cricket, I’d be worried for Vihari,” he added.

India will take on South Africa in the third Test in Cape Town Newlands, which starts on Tuesday, January 11.

Also read: IND vs SA: Ashish Nehra says India will feel more pressure in Cape Town Test

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