There were no surprises when Shikhar Dhawan, and not KL Rahul, came out to start the proceedings with Murali Vijay in the first Test as Ravi Shastri, India Head Coach, had already revealed the opening pair before the start of the tour.

The results, however, were not in team India’s favor as in the first innings, Dhawan-Vijay pair shared 16 runs while in the second innings, they stood there for just 30 runs. The main issue was the way Dhawan got out as in both the innings, he seemed to be surprised by the bounce and found it difficult to face South African pacers.

His poor form is all set to come down on him, and he is all set to be replaced by KL Rahul, the third opener in the team, for the second Test, a report in TOI confirms.

Rahul was surprisingly dropped from the team for the third Test against Sri Lanka when Shikhar Dhawan came back after taking a rest from Nagpur Test. Rahul’s exclusion was a surprise, and it automatically put him on the back seat. But now, he is all set to take back his place and open the innings with Murali Vijay.

Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan, earlier too, had lost his place to other openers in the past. During Test series against England in 2014, he got replaced by Gautam Gambhir due to his poor form while in Australia in 2015, he saw himself being ruled out after poor form. Again, his poor form outside Asia is all set to see him being benched.

Meanwhile, in other changes, one can expect a comeback of Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI as well. He might replace Rohit Sharma in the playing XI.

Rahane, the Vice-captain of India Test team, was surprisingly dropped from the playing XI due to his dry run in the Test series against Sri Lanka. Rohit was given preference over Rahane, but now, team India might go back to Rahane, who has a good record outside India with the bat.

The second Test of the three-Test series will start at Supersport Park in Centurion from January 13 to 17.

Follow India’s tour to South Africa here: South Africa Vs India – Freedom Series

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