Virat Kohli Explains Why India Played Rohit Ahead of Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane was India’s third-highest scorer in the team’s previous tour of South Africa.

2 min read
Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was not picked for Cape Town Test. Instead, Rohit Sharma took his spot. 

India captain Virat Kohli defended the selection of Rohit Sharma in the opening Test against South Africa in Cape Town, saying Rohit was picked ahead of Ajinkya Rahane on current form.

"Well, we decided to go on current form. Rohit has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well, even in the series against Sri Lanka," said Kohli in the post-match media conference.

"These things can always be looked at in hindsight – thinking what if or what if not. But we decided to go with this combination and current form was definitely the criterion," added Kohli.

Rahane, who has not been amongst the runs of late, had a successful tour of South Africa four years ago. With 209 runs, he was third highest run-getter in the series behind Kohli (272 runs) and Cheteshwar Pujara (280). Rohit Sharma on the other hand got out for scores of 11 and 10 in Cape Town.

India lost the match by 72 runs with the batting letting them down in both innings.

Home team’s skipper Faf du Plessis too expressed his surprised that India chose to go with Rahane ahead of Rohit.

"We were surprised yes. We didn't think that Jasprit Bumrah would have played. We know that he's done really well in one-day cricket but we were preparing more for the other seamers because they've played a lot of Tests," said du Plessis in the post-match media interaction here.

"I think the other guy was Rohit Sharma ahead of Ajinkya Rahane. He's been in a bit of form one-day cricket wise so they're probably just running with that," he said.

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