When India toured South Africa in 2013-14, Rahane ended up scoring 47 and 15 in Johannesburg, 51 i *The Times of India (TOI), More spoke in length about the first Test, Rahane and Rahul's inclusion for the second Test and Virat Kohli's captaincy.
That move raised a lot of eyebrows even though captain Virat Kohli justified the decision by saying that Rohit was selected on current form. However, Rohit's inclusion can not be questioned after his sensational run in the Sri Lanka series where he plundered his record third double century in ODIs.
"These things can always be looked at in hindsight -thinking what if or what if not".
For the first time since the inaugural series in 1992-93, an Indian batsman did not score a hundred in a Cape Town Test. Hardik Pandya almost scored one on Day Two of the recently-concluded Test, but couldn't join Sachin Tendulkar (twice), Mohammed Azharuddin and Wasim Jaffer as Test centurions in Newlands.
India needed solidarity and application from the batsmen early on Day 2 and that is exactly what Rohit did by weathering the early storm along with Pujara.
However, just when Rohit was looking comfortable at the crease, an incoming delivery from Kagiso Rabada hit his pads plumb in front of the stumps and he was on his way back to the pavillion.
Which brings us to the question once again - will India include Rahane in the team now? With 209 runs, he was third highest run-getter in the series behind Kohli (272 runs) and Cheteshwar Pujara (280). Gibson, du Plessis and whoever else picks the final eleven, made their choices exclusively on what was needed to win the first Test against India. Sourav Ganguly pointed out that he's a good batsman and he has made runs in Australia, West Indies and other overseas destinations.More news: On Netflix show, a rusty Letterman quizzes Obama, and it's pretty boring
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"You can not replace a Test batsman because he is low on form by a limited-overs batsman because he has scored tons of runs on low and slow Indian wickets".
The 29-year-old has played 19 Tests at home and amassed 1009 runs at an average of 33.63 with 3 tons and as many half-centuries.
Given the fragility of their batting in Cape Town‚ India would do well to retain Sharma as well as recall Rahane. "We knew that Virat was a big wicket to get, and getting him right there and then, I just strived to (enjoy it with) my boys". But, he feels that either KL Rahul or Ajinkya Raahane will make it back to the XI after missing out on a place in the first Test.
Ashwin shared a crucial 49-run eighth wicket stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar to resurrect India's second innings after they were reduced to 82/7.
If Rahul finds a spot in the playing 11, he will be likely replacing Dhawan and not Vijay.
But Ganguly also insisted that he will give Rohit another chance in the middle-order. The young debutant Jasprit Bumrah's selection over the more experienced Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav wasn't spared either, except that the bowler with the unorthodox action, mere 24 years of age, put an end to this one debate after bowling the spell of the Test match.
Amidst all this noise generated by various talking heads, TOI can confirm that Karnataka opener Lokesh Rahul - who sat in the first Test - will return to the playing eleven at the Centurion for the second Test match starting Saturday.