India vs South Africa team selection | Indian squad for South Africa tour: 3 big decisions expected to be discussed at squad selection meeting

Ajinkya Rahane’s Test vice-captain position and Virat Kohli’s ODI captain position are two topics likely to be discussed by the selection committee | Photo credit: AP

Highlights

  • India will tour South Africa from December 26 for 3 Tests and 3 ODIs
  • Virat Kohli’s ODI captaincy had been a big topic of debate since stepping down as leader in the T20Is
  • Ajinkya Rahane’s role as vice-captain of the Indian Test team is also in the spotlight

India’s tour of South Africa has been scaled back due to the growing threat from the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, but that hasn’t reduced the headache for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s selection committee (BCCI). The selectors have been under the microscope since making questionable calls ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup and are in the spotlight again ahead of the squad selection for the South Africa tour.

Whether it’s captaining current India Test and ODI skipper Virat Kohli in the 50-year-old format or vice-captaining Ajinkya Rahane in the game’s longest format, big decisions need to be made. .

The selectors are expected to announce the Indian squad for the Rainbow Nation tour after the conclusion of the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai. As the selection committee headed by Chetan Sharma sits down for the team selection, some important decisions are expected to be discussed.

Will Virat Kohli continue as ODI skipper?

Since Kohli stepped down as India’s T20I skipper, there has been talk of Rohit Sharma replacing him as ODI captain. It is not common for teams to have different captains for the T20I and ODI format. While Rohit has officially replaced him at the helm in the shorter format, some believe the change may soon take place in the ODI format as well.

As India’s tour of South Africa is also made up of ODIs, the selectors are expected to discuss the matter, although an ODI captaincy change is unlikely to be made ahead of the series.

“At the moment it seems difficult that Virat can keep his position as ODI captain, but as the ODI is not important this year with very few games here and there, we can think of delaying the decision. “, a senior BCCI source told PTI. .

“But the counter-argument is that why do you want to have separate ideas for two formats and if the majority of people in charge of making decisions believe that Rohit is the man who goes ahead and will have the time to prepare a team for the 2023 event,” he said.

Rohit Sharma to replace Ajinkya Rahane as test vice-captain?

Ajinkya Rahane missed the starting XI in the Mumbai Test due to a hamstring injury but the change was predicted by many considering the way Shreyas Iyer played in the Kanpur Test. Considering that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are also set to be drafted into India’s test squad for the South Africa tour, Rahane’s place in the playing XI could be in serious trouble.

Since Rahane is unlikely to be a mainstay in the playing XI, a new Test vice-captain will likely be appointed, and no one fits the bill quite like Rohit.

“Obviously he’s going to South Africa but if he hadn’t been injured there was a good chance he would be knocked out of the XI. So if he’s not a sure starter how can he’ll remain the deputy.If Rahane is stripped as vice-captain, Rohit is the obvious choice.

“He was actually vice-captain in the Australia Test series for the last two games,” an official said of the matter.

Time to say goodbye to Ishant Sharma?

Over the years, Ishant has been one of India’s top pacers in the game’s traditional format, playing 105 Tests. However, the rapid emergence of Mohammed Siraj has left the team’s management scratching their heads. With designers like Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah also set to return for the South Africa tour, having been rested for the New Zealand mission, Ishant’s place in the squad is in question.

Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan are among the other bowlers waiting in the wings, while Shardul Thakur’s versatile skills also make him a lucrative choice. In such a case, the selectors are also expected to discuss Ishant’s future in India’s red ball team.

The Indian tour of South Africa will consist of 3 Tests and 3 ODIs, starting on December 26.

Martin E. Berry