The Indian cricket team on Friday made some interesting changes to the playing XI for the 1st Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri decided to drop vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, while Jasprit Bumrah was handed his Test debut for the series opener. The exclusion of Rahane, who hasn't been firing of late, left the fans perplexed. The Mumbai batsman has been a consistent performer for the team on overseas conditions in the last couple of years. Moreover, Rahane offers a safe pair of hands in the slip cordon, which has been a problem area for this Indian side. Several fans were of the opinion that Rahane should have been picked over Rohit Sharma given the conditions on offer.
Fans reacted rather strongly as Kohli, who lost the toss, revealed his team ahead of the match.
Dropping Ajinkya Rahane has to one of the most stupidest decisions. You don't want to drop a player because he had one bad series, that crushes his confidence completely. Plus dropping a vice captain doesn't seem right. #SAvIND #INDvSA @ESPNcricinfo— Rahil Shaikh (@rahil4798) January 5, 2018
I love Rohit more than anyone. But he shouldn't play ahead of Rahane.— RI (@Kahaanify) January 5, 2018
Choosing flat track bully of limited over's cricket over a test specialist like Rahane who have scored runs in alien conditions. Only possible in India ???? #SAvIND— Sayan Basu (@SayanBasuTweets) January 5, 2018
Dropping Rahane in an overseas Test is as foolish as dropping Rohit in a home ODI. #SAvIND— Rupin Kale (@Vegansportlover) January 5, 2018
South Africa are playing with four seamers -- Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn -- and a spinner.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah.