Former wicketkeeper Kiran More believes that Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul should get a place in the playing XI for the upcoming Test against South Africa in Centurion. Praising India's bowling attack, especially Hardik Pandya, Praveen Amre has suggested India should remain positive now.
India started their three-match Test series against South Africa with a 72-run defeat in the first game, which has led many to question the team management’s decision to pick Rohit Sharma over Rahane. While the Indian skipper had tried to justify the decision by stating Rohit’s current form in the post-match conference, experts believe that Rahane’s inclusion could have seen the result differently.
Stats back them up perfectly. When India toured the Rainbow nation back in 2013-14, Rahane had scored 47 and 15 in Johannesburg, 51* and 96 in Durban. Rohit, on the other hand, managed 14, 6, 0 and 25 runs in the same tour. After Sourav Ganguly, More has now demanded Rahane’s place in the team along with opener Rahul for the second Test.
"You have to bring Rahane and Rahul back in the playing XI for the next Test. It also depends on whether the team opts for five or six batsmen, but after this Test match, it is certain that India needs to strengthen their batting," former India wicketkeeper and chief of selectors, Kiran More, told TOI.
The Cape Town Test was a neck-to-neck affair between Indian and South Africa as both the sides faced almost the same situation. The game will be remembered for the outstanding performance of bowlers of both sides. Indian pacers successfully managed to pick all 20 wickets in the game but the hosts executed the home ground benefit optimally.
"Of course, it was. There couldn't have been a better way to win a Test after the bowlers did a phenomenal job to bring India back into the game. Another partnership of 50 runs would have sealed the game in India's favour," More said.
The Indian skipper is known for his aggressive approach on the field that keeps India’s motivation level high on the ground.
"That is the way Virat Kohli is. Everyone has a style of his own. Virat's aggression on the field doesn't really affect the morale of the team. The fact of the matter is that we lost the opening Test and need to show more character in the rest of the two Tests to win the series," More added.
Former Indian player Pravin Amre has also praised the Indian bowling attack which performed brilliantly in Newlands and includes the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, and Ravichandran Ashwin. All-rounder Pandya also showed his efficacy with the ball after playing a 93-run knock in the first innings as he went on to take three wickets.
"When we toured South Africa, we didn't have such a bowling attack like the current team. In fact, it was a dream to think about getting the opposition out below 140. Therefore, the team should remain positive - like Hardik Pandya - and keep hitting loose deliveries. That is the only way to score in South Africa," Amre said, adding that the batting style of South Africa's AB de Villiers is the perfect example to follow.