Rohit Sharma is easily one of the best Indian batsmen in the shortest format. The right-handed batsman scored four tons in the World Cup. But despite his plaudits, he was not picked for the two Tests against West Indies. After a flop show from KL Rahul, the selectors have finally decided to give Sharma a go as a Test opener. This is his, perhaps, final chance to cement a place in the Test team.
Apart from Sharma, another big dilemma for Indian cricket team will be whether to continue with Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper or give Wriddhiman Saha a go. In Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, Virat Kohli & Co. will also have to test out a few bowling combinatios.
Here are our predicted XI for India’s first Test against South Africa:
Mayank Agarwal: Mayank Agarwal had a patch tour to West Indies, where he could not find consistency. Back in familiar conditions in India, where he has scored over 1,000 runs in a calendar year in domestic cricket, the opener could truly shine and cement his spot in the team, for good.
Rohit Sharma: This is a massive challenge for Rohit Sharma. He has been picked as India’s opener in the absence of out-of-form KL Rahul and out of contention Prithvi Shaw. The batsman will be eager to cement his place in the Test team.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Cheteshwar Pujara had a flop show in West Indies. But, he will definitely be included in the Test team against South Africa, against whom he enjoys a good record.
Virat Kohli: Skipper Virat Kohli will be hoping to do better than he did in West Indies in the longest forrmat, where he could not score a single ton. Against Kagiso Rabada and Co., though, it might be more difficult.
Ajinkya Rahane: Ajinkya Rahane showcased why he can be india’s most dependable batsman on his return to the team against West Indies. The batsman scored two fifties and a ton in the series. He will look to continue the same form against South Africa.
Hanuma Vihari: Hanuma Vihari has become India’s new star in Test cricket, after a stupendous show in West Indies. Vihari, who scored a ton, and three fifites in the series, will hope to carry on from where he had left.