The Indian Team management and Virat Kohli will have a tough few hours ahead of the all important Test in Centurion, as India needs to get a team good enough team combination in place in order to level the series.
Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul’s exclusion for the 1st Test raised quite a few eyebrows, as the duo have been fantastic for India in overseas conditions.
Virat Kohli and the Indian Team management though wanted to go in with ‘in-form’ players instead of overseas specialists, but the move backfired big time, as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan failed to make an impact in the 1st Test.
While it can’t be said if Rahul and Rahane’s inclusion could have made a huge difference, but it tells you a lot about Kohli’s mindset as a captain, as someone who believes in current form, whatever be the opposition, format or conditions.
And while he might want to stick to his strategy, it could prove to be detrimental for the Indian team in the future.
While almost all batsmen failed to make a substantial contribution in the 1st, Hardik Pandya counter attacked in well, typical Hardik Pandya fashion to help India claw back into the Test match.
But Aakash Chopra feels that India might have to drop Pandya, as it is absolutely necessary to go in with 6 proper Batsmen in seaming conditions.
“Pandya’s performance has given India this sweet headache, for leaving him out would invite wrath of the supporters and experts (he was the highest scorer of the game from both sides) while playing him might mean compromising with the team combination that may be ideal for the pitch in Centurion, and what’s best suited for the team after the twin batting failure” said Aakash Chopra.
Shikhar Dhawan’s no-show in the first Test has caused fans and critics to question his spot in the team, especially because of his problems with the short and seaming abll.
“While he’s scored a lot of runs in all three formats since the Champions Trophy, the jury is out on his ability to play overseas,” the former Indian opener said.
Aakash Chopra feels that if Karun Nair can be dropped after scoring a triple hundred, the team management can take tough calls and has the appetite for it.
Hardik Pandya’s innings was the game-changer in the first Test, but Chopra feels that the batting needs to be strengthened, as the bowlers delivered big time in Cape Town, and hence Kohli and co. could have to make some bold calls before the 2nd Test.