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Abhimanyu Easwaran Joins Team India For Cape Town Test: A Debut Awaits?
By CricShots - Dec 30, 2023 3:52 pm
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Bengal’s talented batsman, Abhimanyu Easwaran, has joined the Indian cricket team as a replacement for the injured Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the New Year Test against South Africa. Despite not being available for selection in the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion, where India suffered a comprehensive defeat, Easwaran is now in contention for the second Test scheduled to take place at Newlands in Cape Town from January 3.

Abhimanyu Easwaran
Abhimanyu Easwaran

Having played for Bengal in domestic cricket, Easwaran has consistently been one of the top run-scorers for his team in recent seasons. While he has not yet made his international debut, his inclusion in the Indian squad for the second Test presents an opportunity for him to showcase his skills on the international stage.

In the previous Ranji Trophy season, he emerged as Bengal’s third-highest run-getter, accumulating 798 runs in 14 innings at an impressive average of 66.50. Despite his availability for selection, the composition of India’s top order presents a challenge for Easwaran to find a spot in the playing XI.

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The opening partnership is expected to be retained with Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma, followed by Shubman Gill at No. 3 and Virat Kohli at No. 4. Easwaran, being a top-order batsman, may find it challenging to secure a spot, and if given an opportunity, he could potentially replace Shreyas Iyer, who currently bats at No. 5.

 

As India aims to bounce back in the series, they face a formidable South African side led by Dean Elgar. The Proteas dominated the first Test, securing an innings victory with standout performances from Elgar, David Bedingham, and Marco Jansen. India, on the other hand, had an opportunity to make history by winning their first-ever Test series in South Africa but now find themselves trailing.

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With a win in the second Test, India can improve their points percentage in the current World Test Championship cycle, where they currently stand at 38.89%, placing them sixth behind teams like Bangladesh and Pakistan. South Africa, boasting a perfect 100% points percentage, holds the top position.

Despite the challenges, India will strive to turn the tide in Cape Town, while South Africa, needing only to avoid defeat, aims to secure the series victory. The absence of Temba Bavuma, with Dean Elgar leading the Proteas, adds an intriguing dimension to the second Test.