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  5. India vs South Africa: Shikhar Dhawan to be replaced by KL Rahul in 2nd Test, say reports

India vs South Africa: Shikhar Dhawan to be replaced by KL Rahul in 2nd Test, say reports

Shikhar Dhawan's poor performance in the first Test in Cape Town could see Lokesh Rahul making a return to the starting XI in the Centurion Test.

Written by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: January 11, 2018 12:06 IST ]
A file image of KL Rahul.Photo:PTI

The first Test of the three-match series saw the visitor's batting line-up collapse in both the innings which is not the exact start the visitors were looking for. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay weren't able to deliver at Newlands, Cape Town.

According to reports, Dhawan's poor performance could see Lokesh Rahul making a return to the starting XI in the Centurion Test. However, Ajinkya Rahane's return to the playing XI may still take a while as the Virat Kohli led team might opt to play Rohit Sharma at the number 5 batting position.

India were defeated in the first Test where they succumbed to their first loss in the three-match Test series by 72 runs. The visitors saw their batting line-up crumble at a rapid pace to the hands of Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel as the fourth day saw 18 wickets fall. 

With Dhawan and Murali not justifying their roles, a determined and hungry KL Rahul would be the perfect batsman to lead the visitors in projecting runs on hard and bouncy conditions. Vijay's spot could be left as it is as the Tamil Nadu-born swashbuckler has more experience up his sleeve in the South Africa conditions.

A topic of discussion was introducing debutant Jaspirt Bumrah in the series opener as experienced players such as Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav were benched. Bumrah continued to bowl his spells in his unorthodox ways as he collected four wickets in the two innings he played, where the biggest fish he caught twice was swashbuckler AB de Villiers. 

Rahane's inclusion in the squad is still a huge topic of discussion as the 29-year-old can steady India's ship if given the chance as he has performed well in such conditions and can stick to his grounds once stayed foot. 

Rahul could make his way back in the playing XI for the second Test at the Centurion, but that's for skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri to decide in the penultimate Test of the three-match series which the hosts South Africa lead 1-0.

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