Rahul likely to replace Dhawan for Centurion Test

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

Kohli has asked the batsmen to step up following the loss in the opening Test

Cape Town: The ignored trio of K L Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma were part of an optional practice session at Newlands, even as South Africa coach Ottis Gibson warned they would continue to torment India with pace. Talking to India Today, Ganguly said, "History of Rohit Sharma and history of Shikhar Dhawan in overseas conditions are not very good".

More went on to praise India bowlers and said they kept India in the hunt in the first Test. On the other hand, KL Rahul has scored three of his four centuries in overseas conditions while Ajinkya Rahane has been the standout performer for his team with six hundreds and nine fifties in away Tests. I keep saying about KL Rahul because he has scored runs in Australia, he has scored runs in West Indies and Sri Lanka. While many people thought that Rahane's poor form during the home season could be the reason, sources have now revealed that his good slip fielding ensured he was dropped for the game. But let's not panic too much.

"I said it at my first arrival press conference that one must not be surprised by the bounce here. But we chose to go with this combination, and current form was definitely the criteria".

The paceman, a Capetonian, somewhat redeemed himself here on Monday in front of his home crowd by claiming his career-best innings (6/42) figures against India in the first Test and bowling South Africa to a 72-run win.

The second Test will be played at Centurion from Saturday and India's top five will have to pull their socks up and reignite the spark to have a shot at atleast drawing the series if not winning.

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With the South African tour already making headlines for India's batting fallacies, Bhuvneshwar's seemingly minor, yet important role, in the lower order could help add vital runs at the end.

Omar Henry, who bowled left-arm spin for South Africa in the 1992-93 series before going on to be his country's chief of selectors, reckons the next two venues will be harder for Virat Kohli & Co.

The first Test of the three-match series saw the visitor's batting line-up collapse in both the innings which is not the exact start the visitors were looking for.

Asked if he had said anything to Kohli after the dismissal, Philander said: "Nah, I never said anything to him". So while the bowlers received their share of criticism, captain Virat Kohli spent some time having to defend two of his premier limited-overs batsmen.

With India's batting being a major cause for concern, Virat Kohli and the think-tank would also consider bringing back vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and playing with 7 batsmen. "So India will have to fight their way into the next match". We knew Virat was a big wicket to get.

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