With one New Zealand wicket remaining and about 9-10 overs left on the final day, India were favourites to win the first Test of the two-match series. However, the BlackCaps managed to level the match. Although the result was a psychological victory for the Kiwis, it was far from what the Men in Blue had hoped for in the first Test in Kanpur, especially after sitting in the driver’s seat. And, predictably, the result has spurred discussion about what the perfect squad composition would be, as well as who will replace Virat Kohli in the Playing XI when he returns for the Mumbai Test. Despite the fact that there were already doubts about Ajinkya Rahane form, the Mumbai batsman, who was leading the side in Kanpur in the absence of Kohli, failed to deliver once more, scoring 35 and 4 in the two innings.
Former India all-rounder Madan Lal, speaking on the changes that India can make in their XI for the last Test against the Kiwis at the Wankhede Stadium on December 3, indicated that there is only one person who Kohli can take Rahane’s spot in the XI.
Pujara has stayed at the wicket and scored runs, whereas Rahane has not: Lal
“Shreyas Iyer drove in crucial runs in both innings, and Pujara is a run-scoring batsman. Pujara has stuck at the wicket and scored runs despite not scoring massive hundreds. Rahane, on the other hand, is a different storey. So, if you want to make a change, I believe there is only one person who can take Virat’s place: Ajinkya Rahane ” Lal stated.
Shreyas Iyer scored a century in the first innings of his debut Test and then a half-century in the second innings, prompting his statement. In Kanpur, Shreyas batted at Kohli’s usual number four spot, but with Kohli coming in and Rahane likely to be dropped, Shreyas may be forced to bat at number five.
India will head to South Africa for a multi-format encounter after the second Test match.
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