Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag wants Ajinkya Rahane back in the Indian team for the 3rd Test against South Africa.IANS

Former India opener Virender Sehwag has picked his India Playing XI for the third Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

The Virat Kohli-led Indian team aims to avoid a whitewash as they take on the Proteas at The Wanderers Stadium from today (January 24).

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Speaking to India TV, 39-year-old Sehwag said he wanted the team management to bring back vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and also drop Ravichandran Ashwin since it is likely to be a green wicket.

"If it is a grassy wicket then Ashwin has very little role to play. So in his place you can play Ajinkya Rahane. That is my view," Sehwag, who played 104 Tests, 251 ODIs and 19 T20Is, said.

"In place of (Jasprit) Bumrah you can pick Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar). Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma are experienced, Bumrah is young so he can be given a break. On a green track, Bhuvneshwar's record is very good," he added.

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Sehwag said it was important for India to bat well in the first innings which is key to the result of the match. "First innings is key for India. They have to match South Africa in this or else it could be 3-0," he opined.

Yesterday (January 23), Kohli had said they might consider an all-pace attack at a venue where India have never lost a Test in four outings (one won, three draws).

""Chances of anything happening are very bright. There is lot of grass on the pitch. We would definitely look at that (all-pace attack) option. I am sure both teams would be thinking about those options. We have taken 40 wickets so far and have to figure out what is the best way for us to pick up 20 again in this Test match. We are going to have a discussion on that as well and the other combination of the whole team. We will have a clear picture by the end of this afternoon," the skipper said.

There was a lot of criticism aimed at Kohli and the team management for not picking Rahane for the opening two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion. The visitors lost the first game by 72 runs and the second by 135 runs.

The Test series will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is.

Here is Sehwag's India Playing XI for 3rd Test

1.  Virat Kohli (captain)

2.  Murali Vijay

3. KL Rahul

4.  Cheteshwar Pujara

5.  Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain)

6.  Rohit Sharma

7.  Hardik Pandya

8.  Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper)

9.  Mohammed Shami

10.  Bhuvneshwar Kumar

11.  Ishant Sharma