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  5. KL Rahul returns, Ajinkya Rahane out: Complete list of changes in India's Test squad for South Africa series

KL Rahul returns, Ajinkya Rahane out: Complete list of changes in India's Test squad for South Africa series

The BCCI announced three different Team India squads for the multi-format tour of South Africa. This will be the first time that the Indian team will be playing a Test match since July and there have been some significant changes in the squad from the one that played in the West Indies.

Anshul Gupta Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: December 01, 2023 7:15 IST
KL Rahul has returned to India's Test squad after missing
Image Source : GETTY KL Rahul has returned to India's Test squad after missing the WTC final and West Indies series

The foundation stone has been laid for India's challenge in the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) cycle with probably their toughest challenge on the radar - beating South Africa in South Africa. It is one place which still remains out of reach for the Indian Test team, which Rohit Sharma and Co. will aim to conquer. India last played a Test match back in July against the West Indies and there have been some significant changes in the squad from the one that played there.

The biggest one is the return of India's World Cup stars while the omission of Ajinkya Rahane, who out of nowhere was named the vice-captain in the World Test Championship final. The two-match series which begins with the Boxing Day Test on December 26 in Centurion promises to be a cracker. But before that, let's take a look at all the changes in India's Test squad for South Africa series:

IN

The two men responsible for India's superlative show with the bat in the middle-order, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, have returned to the Test squad after missing the WTC final and the West Indies series. Rahul is listed as wicketkeeper in the squad which suggests that the team management expects a similar role from him in Tests what he has been doing in the ODIs, especially till Rishabh Pant comes back in. 

Apart from these two, the whole pace attack is back, which is Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the West Indies series. Bumrah will also be the vice-captain for the Test team for the second time, having led the side in the rescheduled fifth Test against England last year. Prasidh Krishna has been picked as well and could be a dark horse in the bowling attack. 

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Mukesh Kumar keep their places while Ishan Kishan has been retained as the wicketkeeping option.

OUT

Ajinkya Rahane, the senior batter and the vice-captain in the WTC final, has been left out while Cheteshwar Pujara is continuing to be sidelined. Axar Patel is another opposition since being a spinning all-rounder, he might not feature in either Test match. Since the original pace attack is back, Jaydev Unadkat and Navdeep Saini weren't considered and since Rahul is the backup keeping option, KS Bharat too didn't find a place.

India's Test squad for South Africa series: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohd. Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna

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