Who Should Open Batting For India In South Africa? Aakash Chopra Answers | Cricket News -India News Cart


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced an 18-man squad for India’s upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa, starting December 26. While Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are back in the team after missing the two Tests against New Zealand, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill, and Axar Patel were not available for selection due to injuries and are currently undergoing rehabilitation. With Rohit, who was named vice-captain of the Test side, and Rahul back in the team, there has been a lot talk about India’s opening combination.

On being asked who should open the batting for India in South Africa, former batter Aakash Chopra said that Rohit and Rahul will continue to open the innings for India despite Mayank Agarwal’s batting masterclass against New Zealand in the second Test.

“The duo of R-R (Rohit and Rahul). Mayank Agarwal has certainly raised his stocks but he’ll have to wait. Rohit and Rahul will continue as they did extremely well in England. I hope that they’ll do well,” Chopra replied during a Q&A session on his YouTube channel.

“If you want to win the series in South Africa, the openers will be key. There are some issues in the middle-order which are likely to remain. But, if the openers do well, India’s job will get much easier,” he added.

With Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara going through a rough patch in the longest format of the game, Chopra was also asked whether the veteran batters would find a place in the playing XI.

Replying to the same, he said: “Cheteshwar Pujara will retain his spot in the playing XI. If you look at some his recent knocks, he has scored some runs. I’m rooting for Cheteshwar Pujara.

“I’m not sure about Ajinkya Rahane. If Virat Kohli decides to go with the same composition — 5 batters, 5 bowlers and a wicketkeeper in Pant — i don’t see Rahane in the playing XI. I don’t think we can drop Shreyas Iyer. I’m also considering Hanuma Vihari. I’ll choose performance over reputation at this moment,” he concluded.

The first Test will be played from Boxing Day, December 26, at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

India’s Test squad:

Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj

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Standby Players:

Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arzan Nagwaswalla

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