Sports

Picked Rohit Sharma over Ajinkya Rahane on current form, says Virat Kohli

Picked Rohit Sharma over Ajinkya Rahane on current form, says Virat Kohli

South Africa host India in three tests this month, with matches in Pretoria and Johannesburg to come.

South Africa's seamer Morne Morkel had dismissed the India captain for just five runs on Friday (5 January), reducing India to 27-3 in the first innings of their 1stTest against the Proteas.

India were reeling at 82 for seven in pursuit of a modest 208 for victory and with the wicket still offering prodigious bounce and lateral movement to the bowlers, they have found survival, let alone scoring, a significant challenge. As spoken to Hindustan Times, Ram Singh, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Ratlam, said: "Bariya told us that when Kohli got out "uska dimag satak gaya" (he was very upset)". They did that better than us. Even now we lost by only 70-odd. We needed, if not one big partnership, then every wicket adding 30-35 would have done the job for us. "Not many would have experienced batting on such a pitch".

Not just Rahane, Kohli also dropped Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the playing XI. If the technically sound Rahane is to be brought in for this must win Test, it would likely be in place of the stylish Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma, who has been unable to replicate his form from the shorter version of the game to the longer format.

"Well, we made a decision to go on current form".

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At the post-match media conference, when asked why was Rohit Sharma preferred over Rahane for the Cape Town Test, Virat said: "Well, we chose to go on current form".

He added: "We did that similar thing in the past and Shikhar [Dhawan] as well. But we chose to go with that combination and current form was definitely the criterion". It's hard for the bowlers to set their lines and lengths every time with the strike rotating well.

Questions will always persist whether it was the right opening combination to tackle the new ball. The wicket in Centurion will be quick as well.

"Look, they had collapses too, even in the first innings, if you take AB's innings out and Faf's to an extent, the batting hasn't clicked for them together either".

"I like people to be constructive and open and honest with us as players", noted Philander who admitted he has taken criticism personally in the past instead of taking it positively. I was not surprised by the result.


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