Sourav Ganguly has stated that Virat Kohli should consider players' overseas performances while picking the playing XI for the away Test matches. The former Indian skipper has also advocated for Ajinkya Rahane's inclusion in the playing XI in the place of Rohit Sharma to get a better result.
The second Test of the three-match series will be a do-or-die game for Team India as they lost the first by 72 runs and batsmen’s poor performance and wrong playing XI were the main reasons for the drubbing. The Indian team management surprised all and sundry by not picking Rahane and KL Rahul, instead, they decided to give Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan a chance, but both failed to give a decent start to the team in both innings. And as it appears, Ganguly is not happy with the move.
“The history of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in overseas conditions is not very good. Their record is basically chalk and cheese when it comes to overseas Tests. It is fine to go by current form, but they should not have overlooked the performances of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane in overseas conditions in the past few years,” Ganguly told India Today on Tuesday.
After losing the match, Kohli tried to justify his decision by saying that on the basis of the recent form of the players he decided to go with Rohit and Dhawan. In the home series against Sri Lanka, Rohit scored a century and two half-centuries in two Tests in which he played while Rahane failed to use the home-series in his favor, scoring 17 runs in five innings. But when it comes to the performance on foreign tours, Rohit and Dhawan seemed struggling with the bat. In South Africa, Dhawan played three games scoring 108 runs at an average of 18.00, similarly, Rohit scored 66 runs in the same number of games at an average of 11.00.
On the other hand, Rahul didn’t play any Test in the Rainbow nation but he played ten away games in which he scored 634 runs at an average of 42.26 including three centuries and as many half-centuries. Rahane played two Tests when he visited in 2013 where he scored 209 at an average of 69.66 including two half-centuries.
“Virat (Kohli) has shown a lot of trust in Rohit and Shikhar. It seems highly unlikely that they will not be given a second chance. But, the top order and middle order failed to perform in the first Test and Rahane will be a valuable addition to the line-up,” he said.
Steyn sustained yet another injury during the second day of the first Test at Newlands and this time, a serious tissue damage to his left heel, which resulted in he being ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against India. The muscle tear didn’t prevent him from coming out to bat in South Africa’s second innings during their 72-run win, but he will not be a part of the series anymore. The former Indian player believes that the Proteas will not face that much trouble as they have an option in the form of Chris Morris.
“I think that Steyn’s injury is a blessing in disguise for South Africa. With (Chris) Morris coming in, they will have more strength in batting and that will help them in the series,” Ganguly said.