As per reports in Sportskeeda, Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is likely to moss the South Africa series if he does not perform against New Zealand. He will lead the Indian team in the first Test against New Zealand in Virat Kohli’s absence. Sportskeeda sources also say that Rahane has been given a final warning.
KL Rahul has been ruled out of the series as Suryakumar Yadav has replaced him. He might well make his debut in Kanpur. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane has endured a dip in form in the last 15 Test matches. Rahane has managed only 644 runs at an average of 24.76. His only score of note as the century in Melbourne (112) against Australia that he scored on a winning cause.
“This is his redemption series. If he can’t get it, they [selectors] will get both Surya and Shreyas in South Africa. He is under clear pressure to deliver, all selectors’ eyes will be on him, because this is his final test. If he fails here, he might find it difficult to be on the team to South Africa,” a source close to the Indian team told Sportskeeda.
NEWS – Suryakumar Yadav replaces KL Rahul in India's Test squad.
KL Rahul has sustained a muscle strain on his left thigh and has been ruled out of the upcoming 2-match Paytm Test series against New Zealand.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 23, 2021
The selectors might well try Suryakumar or Shreyas Iyer in South Africa in case Ajinkya Rahane continues his poor run. With Virat Kohli returning in the second Test, Rahane is under pressure to perform.
Meanwhile, India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has backed Rahane to come back into form in the two-Test against New Zealand.
Ajinkya Rahane is Just One Innings Away From Gaining Back The Form: Cheteshwar Pujara
“He (Rahane) is a great player, there are times when a player goes through a tough time and that’s a part of this game. There can be ups and downs but I feel he is a confident player. He is someone who works hard on his game and I am sure he is just one innings away from gaining back the form,” said Pujara in the virtual press conference.