Trailing one-nil in the three match series, India realizes that they cannot afford to lose the second test match against South Africa in Centurion.
Virat Kohli clearly has a lot on his mind, as the Indian skipper needs to make some tough calls ahead of tomorrow’s big game.
Speaking to the press ahead of the match, Kohli hinted that the team management may not succumb to external pressure and bring back Ajinkya Rahane into the starting XI.
“It’s funny how things change in a matter of weeks, or just about five days. Before the first Test no-one thought that he should be in the eleven and now suddenly people are looking at the other option,” Kohli said on the eve of the second Test, here.
“For us as a team, it’s all about finding the right balance. If players fit in in the kind of balance we want to go in with as a side, then they will fit in. We certainly don’t go on opinions that are created outside, and talk of the town and all those sort of things,” Kohli’s sarcasm at the pre-match conference was not lost on anyone.
“He (Rahane) is a quality player. He has done well in South Africa, in all conditions actually away from home. He is probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home,” the skipper said.
“I explained the reasons why Rohit Sharma started ahead of him. I am not saying that Ajinkya cannot or will not start in this game. Possibilities are all open at the moment and we shall decide after practice.”
“As far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice what is it that we are going to go within this game. We might do something different also but there is definitely no need to panic.”
“It looks likely a really lively pitch. It is exactly what we expected it to be and we actually wanted it to be that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good cricket. This pitch will again test us to play our best cricket and that is something that we are looking forward to do,” he said.
According to various reports, Parthiv Patel is in the reckoning for a place in the starting XI, as the Saha may be left out to strengthen the batting line-up.
There is a chance that there may be wholesale changes, as Dhawan, Saha and Ashwin could be dropped in favour of KL Rahul, Patel and Rahane respectively.
India may look to sacrifice Ashwin, as the spinner hardly got to bowl in the first test. Rahane’s inclusion will be a move to give more depth to the batting order, as India will try to provide protection to it’s batting order.