Gautam Gambhir
Image Credits: Twitter

Cricket commentator Gautam Gambhir has suggested changes in team India’s playing XI in the next Test encounter against South Africa. The former India opener feels that Virat Kohli should replace Ajinkya Rahane in IND vs SA 3rd Test and Hanuma Vihari should bat at no. 5 position. Gautam Gambhir also revealed the reasons for Hanuma Vihari’s selection in the team.

Virat Kohli did not play the IND vs SA 2nd Test as he sustained a spasm in his back ahead of the match. As a result, Hanuma Vihari was roped in to replace the Indian skipper. In the absence of Kohli, KL Rahul led the side in the match, leading the Test team for the first time in his career. India ultimately lost the match by 7 wickets.

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Hanuma Vihari. Photo-Getty
Hanuma Vihari. Photo-Getty

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Gautam Gambhir Suggests Changes For IND vs SA 3rd Test

During a discussion on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir opined his changes in the playing XI for India in the 3rd Test against South Africa. The former left-handed batsman suggested Virat Kohli should replace Ajinkya Rahane, and Hanuma Vihari should be retained in the middle-order.

“I have already told you my batting order. Kohli in place of Rahane and Hanuma Vihari at No. 5. The way Vihari played this Test match, scored 60 runs – only one inning because he was unbeaten in the second.

“Our country is obsessed with stats, about what the stats say. But it is also necessary to see the sort of batting Hanuma Vihari has done”, Gautam Gambhir said.

“International cricket is not a game of only stats, the zone in which the batter was there, the sort of pressure he was in while making a comeback and despite that the control with which he batted, I will definitely play Hanuma Vihari at No. 5. Virat Kohli will automatically play in place of Ajinkya Rahane,” the 40-year-old further added.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj. (Photo: Twitter)

Gautam Gambhir also maintained that if Mohammed Siraj is unfit for IND vs SA 3rd Test, then Umesh Yadav should replace him in the playing XI instead of Ishant Sharma.

“If Mohammed Siraj is not fit, I will play Umesh Yadav because Umesh Yadav had given an excellent performance when he last played a Test match.

“No doubt, it will be slightly tough for Ishant Sharma because he is such an experienced bowler but it is necessary for you to see that Umesh Yadav is closest to the way Mohammed Siraj bowls,” Gambhir further said.

Hanuma Vihari scored 20 runs in the 1st innings but smashed an unbeaten 40 in the 2nd innings. After India reached 167-5 at one stage, Vihari led the batting from the front with tailenders at the other end. With his unbeaten 40 runs, the right-handed batsman took India to 266-10 in 2nd innings.

Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar, South Africa
Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar. (Photo: Getty Images)

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However, India lost the match by 7 wickets as South Africa managed to chase down the 240-run target in the final innings. Proteas skipper Dean Elgar scored a brilliant 96-not out to bag victory for his team. With the win, South Africa also levelled the series 1-1 after two games. The 3rd and final Test begins on January 11 at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.

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