BCCI will select the Indian team in Mumbai on Thursday for the three-Test series against South Africa. Team India has to play three Tests against South Africa between October 2 and 23. Lokesh Rahul, who is an opening on the West Indies tour, is considered to be out of the team. In his place, Rohit Sharma, a regular ODI opener, can be included in the team. Rohit played his last Test against Australia in December 2018. He then scored an unbeaten 63 in the first innings and 5 runs in the second innings.
The Indian team has tried 6 openers in the last 10 Tests, but none could confirm their position. Of these, Rahul played the maximum number of 9 Tests, but he could score only one century. 6 openers scored 2 centuries and 4 half-centuries in total during this period. Out of these, Mayank Agarwal, who played 4 Tests made three half. A century and a half-century came from Prithvi Shaw’s bat.
Openers hit just a half-century on the Windies tour
Rahul scored 44, 38, 13 and 6 in four innings of two Tests against the West Indies. He scored 149 against England at the Oval last year. After this, he could not score a single 50+ in 7 Tests. Mayank Agarwal scored 5, 16, 55 and 4 in four innings of the same series.
BCCI did not select Rohit in the playing XI against the Windies
Rohit was taken with the team on the West Indies tour but was not included in the playing XI. In place of him, they placed Hanuma Vihari in the team at number six. Vihari had scored a century and two half-centuries. Ajinkya Rahane performed well at number five. He scored 271 runs in 4 innings at an average of 90.33. Vihari had scored 289 runs in 4 innings at an average of 96.33. Rohit could not find a place in the middle order because of the excellent play of both.
Iswaran, Priyank Panchal and Shubhaman also in the race
Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran scored 4067 runs in 52 first-class matches at an average of 49.59. During this, he also scored 13 centuries. Ishwaran scored 153 runs in the last match against India Green while playing for India Red. Priyank Panchal scored 6186 runs in 87 first-class matches at an average of 47.22. During this, he scored 21 centuries. Priyank played 160 runs against Sri Lanka A in May this year while playing for India A. Shubman Gill scored 1348 runs in 13 first-class matches at an average of 74.88. He has 4 centuries in his name. He scored 204 runs against Windies A in August.
Hardik’s return possible, Bhubaneswar can stay out
All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been out of the Test team for the last one year. During this time they left him out of the team because of injury first and then because of objectionable comments on women on Koffee with Karan. He was not placed in the squad against the Windies. They can return to the team. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who played his last Test against South Africa in January last year, can remain out of the team despite being fit. With Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in place, he is tough.
Expected Indian team: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.