The Indian cricket team on Friday made some interesting changes to the playing XI for the 1st Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri decided to drop vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, while Jasprit Bumrah was handed his Test debut for the series opener.
The exclusion of Rahane, who hasn’t been firing of late, left the fans perplexed. The Mumbai batsman has been a consistent performer for the team on overseas conditions in the last couple of years.
Moreover, Rahane offers a safe pair of hands in the slip cordon, which has been a problem area for this Indian side. Several fans were of the opinion that Rahane should have been picked over Rohit Sharma given the conditions on offer.
Fans were excited about South Africa vs India game to begin and lest expected the dropping of Rahane and naturally were disappointed. While they trolled Kohli for the same but welcomed Bumrah to Test cricket as well.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the dropping of Rahane:
Wow, this Indian team not short of surprises. But they are backing words with actions. Playing the all-rounder and no Rahane is a huge call
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 5, 2018
Dropping Ajinkya Rahane has to one of the most stupidest decisions. You don’t want to drop a player because he had one bad series, that crushes his confidence completely. Plus dropping a vice captain doesn’t seem right. #SAvIND #INDvSA @ESPNcricinfo
— Rahil Shaikh (@rahil4798) January 5, 2018
Rahane dropped. Pandya in, Bumrah debut as 3rd pacer. This is a mad-hoc selection on the face of it. #SAvInd
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) January 5, 2018
The rise of Rohit Sharma in Indian cricket is acceptable but the fall of Ajinkya Rahane should not be by any means.#INDvSA
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) January 5, 2018
No Rahane is a JOKE, maybe out of form, but remember this guy’s away average was always better than average at home… you’ve to be a home-track bully to get picked, also tattoos😉
— P₹akash $inha 🇮🇳 (@Predicto_Praky) January 5, 2018
I love Rohit more than anyone. But he shouldn’t play ahead of Rahane.
— RI (@Kahaanify) January 5, 2018
— Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) January 5, 2018
Since 2001, only two Indian batsmen average more than 50 in Tests outside the sub-continent against fast bowlers: Rahul & Rahane.
Both dropped for today's Test.
(Dravid & Tendulkar averaged 49 & 46 respectively in that period.)#SAvInd
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) January 5, 2018
Rahane’s absence will be felt in the slip cordon too. Remember, India’s record in slips isn’t very good. Best hands dropped. #SAvIND
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 5, 2018
Choosing flat track bully of limited over's cricket over a test specialist like Rahane who have scored runs in alien conditions. Only possible in India 😹😹 #SAvIND
— Sayan (@Tweets_by_Sayan) January 5, 2018
— Piyush Gambhir (@nolovekumbkaran) January 5, 2018
Dropping Rahane in an overseas Test is as foolish as dropping Rohit in a home ODI. #SAvIND
— Rupin Kale (@Vegansportlover) January 5, 2018
By what logic do you play Rohit Sharma instead of Ajinkya Rahane on a swinging Cape Town pitch? #INDvSA
— Vulcan (@BoredWallaby) January 5, 2018