Cricket - Featured - September 16, 2019

India announces squad for SA Tests; KL Rahul dropped, Rohit Sharma keeps his spot and Shubman Gill given a call

After a successful tour of the Caribbean, India now moves into the home series against South Africa.

After a successful tour of the Caribbean, India now moves into the home series against South Africa. The BCCI announced a 15-member squad for the Test series against the Proteas starting 2nd October. Meanwhile, KL Rahul has been dropped on the back of a poor test series against Windies, Rohit Sharma has managed to retain his place and youngster Shubman Gill has been given his maiden test call up. According to the chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, Rohit is set to open the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal.

An established opener in the shorter formats, this series will be a golden opportunity for Rohit to cement his place in the test side as well with Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay already out of the mix. Shubman Gill, on the other hand, has earned his maiden call up into the Test squad following his consistent performances for India A in the recent past. It will be interesting to see whether the young batting sensation, Shubman Gill will make his debut or not, and what position will be bat at if he does so. There are no other changes in the squad as expected and given the way the team has been performing, the side is well balanced going into this series.

Another questionable point is where Hardik Pandya, and why isn’t he considered in the team selection process? The last international match he played was in the semifinals of the World Cup against New Zealand on 9 July 2019.

India is ranked No.1 at the moment and is at the top of the table with 120 points in the ICC Test Championship. India last played South Africa in South Africa in 2018 and lost the series 2-1. However, that series marked the beginning of a transition. Post the 2018 South Africa series, India has won all the series it has played and there has been no looking back ever since. India will definitely look to continue its dominant run in test cricket and stay atop in the rankings.

BCCI announces squads for home series versus South Africa

15-member Test Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill.

Board President’s XI: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, KS Bharat (WK), Siddesh Lad, Jalaj Saxena, Dharamendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav.

Fixtures for the Test series

1st Test – 2nd October, Visakhapatnam

2nd Test – 10th October, Pune

3rd Test – 19th October, Ranchi

This series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship.

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