New Delhi: Virat Kohli might opt to bring in wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel and opener KL Rahul in the playing XI for the second Test match against South Africa on Saturday. The duo will replace Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha. However, the chance of Ajinkya Rahane making a comeback looks highly unlikely.
Despite a six-wicket haul in the series opener, the Indian management is considering dropping Bhuvenshwar Kumar as the condition at the Supersports Park do not favour swing and Ishant Sharma might just get in because of the pace he possesses.
The logic behind bringing back Ishant is also his ability to bowl long spells to the tune of 11-12 overs, and the team management is well aware that the kookaburra seam wears out easily.
Parthiv Patel, who is considered as a far more accomplished batsman than Saha will start the Indian innings with Karnataka opener KL Rahul.
Parthiv last played against England and scored 195 runs in three Test matches, when Saha was injured.
"The team management understands that they need to shore up the batting. Apart from his 878 Test runs in 23 Tests, his first-class average is phenomenal. He has more than 10,000 runs with 26 centuries. The team management couldn't have possibly avoided that," a senior BCCI official said
Rahul, on the other hand, has till now played 21 Tests, scoring 1428 runs at an average of 44.62 with four hundreds and 10 half-centuries.
He is among the only three Indian batsmen in international cricket, who has got hundreds across all formats, apart from Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma.First Published: 12 Jan 2018 10:30 PM