Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter

Last Update on: December 25th, 2021 at 02:47 pm

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Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer put his thinking cap on to pen down India‘s probable playing XI for the first Test against South Africa at the SuperSport Park, Centurion, from December 26. There has been a lot of talk about India’s middle-order as well as the bowling attack but Wasim Jaffer has been clear as to who he wants to see play in the first Test.

Jaffer picked KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as the two openers for India and went ahead with the out-of-form Cheteshwar Pujara at No.3. Pujara has been under the pump due to his recent failures, but Jaffer feels Pujara’s experience will be crucial for Team India.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. Credits: BCCI

After picking skipper Virat Kohli at No.4, Jaffer came down to the most talked about topic, that of the No.5 and No.6 spots. He believes Ajinkya Rahane deserves another go despite his failures in the past. He feels South Africa is a difficult place for batsmen and thus India needs to go in with six batting specialists along with Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper.

“There has been a lot of debate about Ajinkya Rahane. Whether he should play, whether he should not play?  There’s Hanuma Vihari waiting in the benches. In my opinion, however, he should play as he has been there and has even done well,” Wasim Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

Wasim Jaffer’s bowling attack

Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Wasim Jaffer went with a three-pronged pace attack consisting of Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj instead of the veteran Ishant Sharma. He picked Ravichandran Ashwin as the specialist spinner. He believes this is a good enough XI to beat South Africa in their own conditions.

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Wasim Jaffer’s playing XI : Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.