Rahul likely to replace Dhawan for Centurion Test


A local police official told Hindustan Times that Babulal succumbed to his injures on Tuesday morning.

Two years ago in India, South Africa witnessed not only the end of their proud unbeaten record on foreign soils but also experienced their worst ever defeat against a subcontinental team by 0-3.

Faf du Plessis won the toss and chose to bat first in the second Test against India at Centurion.

Set 208 for victory, India were bowled out for 135 in under 43 overs.

The 21-year-old becomes the 99th Protea to play Test cricket since re-admission, but South Africans will have to wait a little longer to see him in action after Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first.

India may feel an unchanged XI would send a strong message of confidence in the XI that ran South Africa close in Cape Town.

Amid all the speculation and reports, team India have put it out straight that they have shrugged off the 1st Test upset and are looking forward to the upcoming Test.

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The home captain though said the wicket at the Supersport Park is a lot browner than he thought.

Rahane's recent form is poor but he is a class act outside India, and while recent form, according to Kohli, was the basis for Rahane's non-selection at Newlands, historic form may be a factor that can't be ignored at Centurion.

If these were hints for a quiz question about naming the playing XI for the second Test, no lifelines or phone to friends could help you get the answer right. The only way India can include Rahane in the eleven is if they decide to drop R Ashwin, a decision that's unlikely at Centurion. While his batting wasn't up to the mark, even the rest of the batsmen, barring an enterprising Hardik Pandya in the first innings, couldn't get going. They were seen training in a never-seen-before way ahead of the second Test at Centurion. We want to look for whatever takes them out of their comfort zone. Saha was a dud with the bat in the opening Test, scoring 0 & 8 at Cape Town. If you don't have pace, your attack can get one-dimensional.

Pandya and Ashwin were batting at No. 7 and 8 respectively, which suggests India have enough depth in their batting order - if their top-order players can get themselves through the new ball.

India have included opener Lokesh Rahul, wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel and seamer Ishant Sharma in the place of Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively. It is really unfortunate for a player of his class to miss out while he is in a good nick.

In fact Bumrah, despite his excellent performance in the first Test, may find himself sacrificed if India aim to strengthen their batting by adding Ajinkya Rahane or if Ishant Sharma's ability to extract extra bounce is deemed a better option.