India Announces Playing XI; Confirms Three Crucial Changes - First Test

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India Vs South Africa 2019/20: First Test – India Announces Playing XI; Confirms Three Crucial Changes 

India Vs South Africa 2019/20: First Test – India Announces Playing XI; Confirms Three Crucial Changes
Image Credit: Google

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.

Read More: India vs SA 2019: Virat Kohli On The Cusp Of Joining Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dravid In Elite List

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.

India, playing XI
India national cricket team (Image Credit: Google)

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

Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin are returning to the Test playing XI. The Vishakhapatnam Test is going be the first Test in 2019 for all of them.

Read More: India vs South Africa 2019/20: Rain Can Interrupt The First Test Match

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.

India, playing XI
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Google)

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.

India Vs South Africa 2019/20: First Test - India Announces Playing XI; Confirms Three Crucial Changes 1
Wriddhiman Saha (Image Credit: Getty Images)

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, playing XI
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credit: Google)

Among the full-member squad, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav and uncapped Test player Shubman Gill haven’t been selected in the playing XI for the Vishakhapatnam Test.

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.

Changes from the last Test

In – Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin

Out – KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah

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