Former India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has said that Ajinkya Rahane might not get the chance in the playing XI in the three-match Test series South Africa in their backyard. The series will start from December 26 in Centurion as it was postponed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID19.
Players like Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari are in great touch with the bat. Iyer scored a century and a fifty in the two-match series against New Zealand at home batting at number five, which is generally occupied by Rahane.
On the other hand, Vihari scored three half-centuries for India A against South Africa in the recently concluded three unofficial Tests. The last time Vihari played a game for the side was in January this year when his marathon batting effort helped the team save the game against Australia.
The highlight of that innings was he batted for more than a session with a hamstring injury. Since then, he was not included in the team for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June which India lost by eight wickets. In the five-match series in England, he didn’t play any game as well.
Gautam Gambhir explains why Ajinkya Rahane won’t play in the series
“Tough, that is what I can say because he is not a starter, to be honest. I feel Ajinkya Rahane will find it difficult to get a place in the playing XI,” said Gambhir, who captained India in six ODIs.
“You have got Shreyas Iyer; it will be very difficult for India or the captain to drop him because of his recent performances. At the same time, Hanuma Vihari has done really well as well.”
The former India Test vice-captain has had a tough with the bat this year. He is averaging around 19 with the bat including two half-centuries against England (the first one came at home in February and the second one came at Lords in August). Apart from that, he also amassed 46runs in the WTC final before getting caught at mid-wicket against Neil Wagner.
In the series against England in August-September, he scored a match-winning 61 runs in the second game at Lords but struggled in the three games played.