One day before the first Test of the three-match Test series between the hosts India and the visitors South Africa, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced India’s playing XI for the first Test. The team management has made three crucial changes in the playing XI from the last Test.
The Test series will begin on Wednesday (2nd October) while Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium (Vishakhapatnam) will host the first Test. This three-match Test series is the part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (2019-21). For each victory in this series, the winning team will earn 40 points. On the other hand, each team will earn 20 points for a tie, 13 points for a draw in this series.
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On Tuesday (1st October), the BCCI has announced the playing XI for the Vishakhapatnam Test. The team management has made three changes in the playing XI from the last Test, which was against Windies at Kingston in last August-September.
Opener KL Rahul, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and the pacer Jasprit Bumrah have been excluded from the playing XI. Rahul and Bumrah both are not in the 15-member squad for this Test series. Rahul is struggling to find his form while Bumrah has a minor stress fracture. Meanwhile, Pant is in the full-member squad for this Test series but has missed out the Vishakhapatnam Test due to poor batting form.
Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin are returning in the Test squad
The team management is ready to experiment with Rohit Sharma as a Test opener. Though he is the regular opening batsman in limited-overs cricket, Rohit hasn’t played as a Test opener earlier. The right-handed batsman mostly played previous Test matches as a middle-order batsman. However, he failed to perform consistently in Test cricket as a middle-order batsman. Rohit played his last Test in last December against Australia at Adelaide.
The 34-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha played his last Test in January 2018 during India’s tour of South Africa. Since then, he faced some injuries and due to these constant fitness issues, he missed the international cricket for a long time. While the youngster Rishabh Pant is failing to perform with the bat continuously, Saha is now getting the opportunity.
The 33-year-old off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin last played for India in the Adelaide Test in last December. He recently played for Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship 2019 and performed very consistently. Apart from taking 34 wickets in five matches (four five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul), Ashwin also scored 339 runs (average 37.66).
India’s confirmed playing XI for the Vishakhapatnam Test:
Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
Virat Kohli (Capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Md Shami#INDvSA
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 1, 2019
Changes from the last Test
In – Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin
Out – KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah