He is back! Ajinkya Rahane finally gets included in the playing XI of India after weeks of criticism. Skipper Virat Kohli has chosen Rahane instead of Rohit Sharma on the vicious green top of New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. Since the batting collapse in the first Test, there have been talks that Rahane should have been picked in the side ahead of Rohit seeing his record on overseas pitches.
Former cricketers and netizens had expressed their disappointment regarding the team selection. Indian batting lineup has struggled in both the Tests. Only Kohli managed to break the shackles and score a century in the second Test but even that could not turn things around for the team.
South African fast bowlers have been able to get the better of Indian batsmen whether it is with the new ball or reverse swing with the old one.
Kohli surprised everyone with another decision in the third Test. He went all out with the pace attack by selecting five fast bowlers in the team. He replaced Ravichandran Ashwin and brought back Bhuvneshwar Kumar into the side. To top it all, he opted to bat first on a green top after winning the toss.
Here’s how Twitterati reacted to Rahane’s inclusion:
— Prabhjit Singh (@SinghOfGudTimes) January 24, 2018
— दिमाग से पैदल ! (@DeemagSePaidal) January 24, 2018
I would have got in Ashwin for Bumrah or Ishant. Not just for variety but also for batting. But good to see Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvi back. Now there is some hope. #INDvsRSA
— Aman Arora (@AmAroraWriting) January 24, 2018
So finally after loosing the series ,team India brings in Ajinkya Rahane. 4 innings of Rohit will now be compared with 2 innings of Rahane. I hope he scores big and that will be a big lesson to captain and management. #SAvIND @ajinkyarahane88 @SirRahanee @ajinkyarahaneFC pic.twitter.com/D4U8JKPO6I
— Vinayak udchan (@VinayakUdchan) January 24, 2018
— Niket Garg (@NiketGarg2) January 24, 2018
You know who might be facing the most pressure this final #IndvSA test ? Not Kohli, not Shastri…yup..Ajinkya Rahane !!
— Rahul Krish Bhaskar (@Rahul_Bhas) January 24, 2018
I’m not sure whether Ajinkya Rahane’s inclusion in the team is a strategic decision or just due to media pressure #INDvSA
— CricfreakZ (@cricfreakz) January 24, 2018
Welcome back Ajinkya Rahane. Too little too late though. And what happens if he fails? #INDvSA
— Sushmit Nath (@sushmitnath) January 24, 2018
Rahane & Bhuvi are back.
Parthiv is still in – after missing about 4 chances in the last match.
Mitron: Indian team hai ki Congress?
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) January 24, 2018
Rahane for Rohit. And Bhuvneshwar for Ashwin. Which means 5 pacers, and most critically just 5 batsmen on a pitch with green cover #IndvSA
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) January 24, 2018
Rahane in the team. No problem, it is dead rubber.
— N.S. Madhavan (@NSMlive) January 24, 2018
what if rahane & bhuvi fail to do well in this test? will be a tough time for them in the dressing room i’m afraid ! #SAvIND
— Amol (@Imamol97) January 24, 2018
Finally Rahane is back in the team. Sanity restored.. #SAvIND
— ASAD ULLAH QASIM (@asad_q78) January 24, 2018
Poor Ajinkya Rahane. Couldn’t get to play in important matches. Now playing in a useless match on a green top against 5 pacers & if he fails along with everyone, still Mr. Arrogant will pick him to say “that’s why I played SHARMA ;)”#SAvIND
— Sayan Basu (@SayanBasuTweets) January 24, 2018
So rahane back at the expense of rohit, maybe pandya should have been out since we have 4 seamers capable of taking 20 wickets on this track. Lets see how this goes again a batter short. @BCCI #IndvSA
— Shreyash_Churi (@Shreyash_Churi) January 24, 2018
Rahane tere bina raha na jaye! Welcome back, make it count! #INDvSA
— Manya (@CSKian716) January 24, 2018
India should have played rahane the full tour…let’s see how he goes today…one thing is for sure if he does well in this match the team management have to take some bullets thrown to them….#SAvsIND
— Monirul Islam Munna (@mathewsmunna14) January 24, 2018
Rahane in is for the match, hope this little artist performs to the expectations and seals his place now and forever.
— Sujay Kulkarni (@Sujaaaaaay) January 24, 2018
— #BBL07 #BBL #BBL07 (@TheBBL07) January 24, 2018
Leaving out Ashwin is a mistake. He is not only the best off-spinner, but a handy middle-order bat. P.Patel is a poor wicket-keeper & bat. Should have been dropped. Rahane pitch-forked at 11th hour without acclimatization & practice. All out pace attack will not work.
— Chilli Chicken (@_abcd_12) January 24, 2018
Take a look at the playing XI:
Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah