Ajinkya Rahane is expected to play in the third Test at Johannesburg © AFP
Amidst all the chaos surrounding Rohit Sharma being picked ahead of Ajinkya Rahane, Team India on Sunday dropped hints at Rahane’s return in the playing XI for the third and final Test against South Africa at Johannesburg. Being one of the most successful Indian batsmen overseas in recent years, Test vice-captain Rahane was not picked for the first two Tests at Cape Town and Centurion, with the Indian team management instead preferring to go with limited overs specialist Rohit Sharma on current form.
However, during India’s practice session at the Wanderers, Rahane was seen padded and lined up along with India captain Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya.
Rohit’s failure to score runs in the first two Test raised a lot of eyebrows as India yet again surrendered a Test series to South Africa. Rohit could not withstand the mighty South African pace attack which urged the audience to raise questions about the selection.
Even in the face of back-to-back humiliating defeats, the Indian team management, led by skipper Virat Kohli, remained defiant on team selection.
Even after the routine batting and fielding sessions ended, Kohli and Rahane went back into 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 pacers.
When they batted, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami even bowled with new Kookaburra balls. India had lost the first Test in Cape Town by 72 runs and they were beaten in the second match at Centurion by 135 runs to surrender an unassailable lead.