Kiran More, MS Dhoni
Kiran More (Credits - AFP)

Former India player and Chief Selector, Kiran More, has asked for the return of Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul in the playing XI for the second Test against South Africa. Both the players were not included in the playing XI for the first Test,

“You have to bring Rahane and Rahul back in the playing XI for the next Test. It also depends on whether the team opts for five or six batsmen, but after this Test match, it is certain that India need to strengthen their batting,” More told TOI.

Team India suffered a surprising defeating in the first Test as the Virat Kohli led team failed to chase down a small target of 208. Bowlers had done their job on day four by taking eight wickets in the first session and bowling out South Africa on 130.

Batsmen were expected to score those 208 runs as they had the luxury of having almost every factor needed to chase the target but, instead, South African bowlers too made merry and dismissed India on just 135, thus winning the game by 72 runs.

More also added that it was the best chance for Indian cricket team to win a Test match in South Africa,

“Of course, it was. There couldn’t have been a better way to win a Test after the bowlers did a phenomenal job to bring India back into the game. Another partnership of 50 runs would have sealed the game in India’s favour.”

India’s batsmen are to be blamed for the loss in the first game as on any day, any team would ask for a target of 208 in the fourth innings in any condition but the Indian batsmen couldn’t assimilate to the conditions well and missed a golden opportunity to start the tour on a winning note.

One of the major reasons behind the loss was no match practice. Though the team had canceled the sole practice game the players cannot be blamed as the game was planned just a day after the team was scheduled to reach South Africa. The cramped schedule is though a legit reason for the team not getting enough match practice.

Going into the second Test, the team is expected to make a few changes. The comeback of Ishant Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane seems to be on the cards. Skipper, Virat Kohli, might also look at KL Rahul to open the innings as Shikhar Dhawan seems to be a confused player on pitches where there are extra pace and bounce.

The second Test of the series will be played at Supersport Park from January 13 to 18.

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

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