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India's tour of South Africa 2023-24

3 Big takeaways from India test squad for South Africa tour

Published at :December 1, 2023 at 12:18 AM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:09 AM
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Karan Rawat

India will play two tests starting on December 26 on South Africa tour.

Team India are all set to travel to South Africa for a multi-format series. They are currently hosting Australia for five T20Is, which will end on Sunday. The South Africa tour will start with three T20Is on December 10. It will be followed by three ODIs, while the red-ball leg will start on December 26.

Both teams will play two tests, which are part of the ongoing World Test Championship 2025, and both teams have a chance to add important points to the table. The selection committee announced squads for all three formats on Thursday. The white-ball squad saw a number of youngsters in ODIs and T20Is, while the test squad has all the big guns coming back. There are three talking points in India’s test squad, about which we will talk here below.

Here are the 3 Big takeaways from India’s Test squad for South Africa tour

1. Full strength Test squad

India's test squad for South Africa tour
India’s test squad for South Africa tour

The announced test squad has seen the return of Rohit Sharma as a captain, and Virat Kohli is also in the squad. India won the two-match test series against the West Indies 1-0, and this series is very important in the context of the WTC 2023-25 cycle. Hence, the selection committee has announced a full-strength team and given chances to the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ishan Kishan for their consistent performances. The bowling will be led by Jasprit Bumrah and Ravi Ashwin.

2. End of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s careers:

Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara. (Image Source: Twitter)

One thing to note is that the selectors have given chances to young bloods, while veterans like Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have been sidelined. It means that India are thinking beyond them now and want to give a chance to youngsters. Rahane was part of the West Indies series, while Pujara played in the BGT series against Australia. So will they get another chance, or is it the end of the road for both veterans?

3. KL Rahul elevated as wicket-keeper:

KL Rahul test
KL Rahul. (Image Source: AFP)

Another important thing to note in the test squad was the return of KL Rahul. He was not part of the West Indies tests due to injury, but he is back in whites and has been designated as the wicket-keeper while getting selected ahead of KS Bharat in the side. Ishan Kishan is another wicket-keeping option in the team. Since Rishabh Pant’s accident, India have struggled to find a test keeper who can do well with the bat, and Rahul’s emergence as a keeper might solve that.

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