India drop hints at Rahane return in 3rd Test

India drop hints at Rahane return in 3rd Test

If Ajinkya (Rahane) had played the first Test and not done well, you would have asked me the same question about why Rohit (Sharma) hasn't played.

Even as most of the Indian players were busy playing football at the main ground at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday, batting coach Sanjay Bangar took bowlers Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for a batting session before they got down to bowling at the batsmen.

"We tried but we weren't good enough, especially in the fielding department".

India had high hopes of a first ever Test series success in South Africa when they arrived for the tour, but have fallen short in two hard-fought matches. Gambhir in a post said that rather than going over the top critical towards the team we should rather appreciate the opposition for having played better. Former India captain MS Dhoni has backed the team and said that despite the loss, many positives have come out for the team.

"The conditions are tough here". The run-outs of Hardik Pandya and Cheteshwar Pujara in the Centurion Test, particularly stood out. Interestingly, even as the boys walked into the ground, Shastri headed back to the pitch, this time with skipper Virat Kohli in tow. As it is the conditions are very tough, and on top of that if someone gets run out, then you feel bad. Whatever has happened, you can not change that. In tough conditions like this where there isn't much between the two teams, you can not afford to give away wickets like that.

The head coach, however, defended India's contentious selection calls in the series.

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After missing out on the first two Tests at Cape Town and Centurion, Ajinkya Rahane may make the Playing XI for the final match in Johannesburg, starting Wednesday. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul didn't cross 20 in the Test they played.

A testament to the quality was Ngidi, who became the sixth South African fast bowler to take a five-wicket haul on debut. "So, when you have choices, the team management has discussed what is the best option and they stick by it, they go by it". We looked like the number one team in overseas conditions. "Once you start scoring runs, you are there". "That's where the chopping and changing happens".

With neither opening pair clicking, the Indian management will have a hard time figuring out the openers for the Wanderers Test, where the pitch is expected to be hard, bouncy and assist seam movement.

"Overseas, you go on current form, you go on conditions".

MS Dhoni said, "If you can take 20 wickets then you can win the test irrespective of where you play, at home or outside". The good thing though is people won't crib and moan when matches in India get over in two and a half days. Neither will they ask me what kind of track are you playing on.