Team India faces a massive selection dilemma ahead of the first Test against South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. The game is scheduled to be commencing on December 26. Quite interestingly, the Indian team has been facing the problem of plenty despite missing out on several players due to injuries. The biggest headache would be picking the number-five batter for the Boxing Day Test.
Former deputy skipper in Tests, Ajinkya Rahane has been batting at the position in recent years. However, he has been woefully out of form lately and many have even questioned his place in the playing XI. Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer are the other two batters fighting for the number 5 place. While Vihari has been around the Test squad for quite some time now, Iyer slammed a staggering century on his Test debut against New Zealand last month.
Hence, it will be interesting to see who’ll make it to the initial line-up. Speaking on the matter, India’s stand-in deputy skipper in Tests, KL Rahul admitted the decision would be difficult to make. He also said the team management is yet to finalize the playing XI.
In a virtual press conference, KL Rahul said, “It is a very difficult decision to make, obviously. Ajinkya has been a very important part of our Test team and he has played very crucial knocks in his career. In the last 15-18 months, if I can think back, his knock in Melbourne was really crucial and helped us win a Test match. That partnership with Pujara at Lord’s in the second innings, where he got a fifty, was really important. “
He further elaborated, “That ended up in us winning the Test match. So he has been a key player of us in that middle-order. Shreyas, obviously, has taken his chances. He played a brilliant knock in Kanpur, got a hundred. So he is very excited and Hanuma (Vihari) has also done well for us. It’s a tough decision but we’ll start having the chat probably today or tomorrow. You’ll get to know in a couple of days’ time.”