Faf du Plessis’ side have taken the unassailable 2-0 lead in the on-going three-match Test series between South Africa and India. Now with the third match scheduled to start at Wanders on Wednesday, the hosts will aim for a whitewash. On the other hand, Virat Kohli’s and his boys will try their best to narrow the margin of their defeat.
Meanwhile, India hinted at recalling Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane, who has a decent record overseas, for the last Test. Vice-captain Rahane was dropped from the playing eleven in the Tests at Cape Town and Centurion, with the Indian team management preferring limited overs specialist Rohit Sharma on his ‘current form’.
Sharma’s failure to live up to the expectations and the Indian batting’s inability to stand up to the South African pace attack in the preceding matches attracted widespread criticism, leading to a fiery press conference in the aftermath of the series loss in Centurion.
Even in the face of back-to-back humiliating defeats, the Indian team management, led by skipper Virat Kohli, remained defiant on the team selection for the first two Tests.
However, if Sunday’s practice session at the Wanderers was any indication, there is a possibility of Rahane being drafted back into the playing eleven for the third Test, starting on Wednesday.
Interestingly, at the nets, Rahane padded up and lined up along with Kohli and Hardik Pandya in what could be the suggestive middle-order in the upcoming Test. Even after the routine batting and fielding sessions ended, Kohli and Rahane went back to the nets for an extended session.
They were the last ones to walk out of a nearly four-hour-long training session. While Pandya opened up with some big hits as per his natural style of play, both Kohli and Rahane looked solid against the pacers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami even bowled with new Kookaburra balls during their practice session.
India had lost the first Test in Cape Town by 72 runs and in the second match at Centurion by 135 runs.
-With PTI inputs