It was only few days ago, Ajinkya Rahane stated 2018 is going to be his year. However, the start of the new year has not gone according to plan with the Mumbai man ignored for the first Test at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday (January 5). Rohit Sharma has been picked over vice-captain Rahane.
Twitterati have been utterly disappointed with the selection of Indian team for their first Test of 2018, against South Africa. People on the social media have questioned Indian captain Virat Kohli for his decision to drop Rahane.
The Mumbai right-hander is said to be India's best bet with the bat in overseas conditions, which makes this decision of picking Rohit questionable.
Had India been playing at home, one would have understood as Rohit can take on any bowling attack, but the conditions in South Africa are different and he will have a tough time to deal with swing and bounce.
It might have been Rahane's poor run of form in the last few matches for India, which might have prompted India to drop their vice-captain. Rahane only scored 17 runs in the last three Test matches. On the contrary, Rohit has scored five straight half-centuries besides his majestic performance in the limited-overs format of late.
With the decision already made to exclude Rahane, Rohit will be under pressure to deliver with the bat at Newlands. The middle-order batsman has to be cautious in the first few overs. He is a slow starter and takes his time to get going, but once he gets his eye in, the right-hander can take on the attack and dominate proceedings.
If Rohit performs with the bat in the first Test, he will gain major confidence and be considered for selection in the 2nd Test too. If not, Rahane might get the nod for the next match.
At Newlands, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and chose to bat first. This is a three-match series.
Very bad decision to drop Ajinkya Rahane and include Rohit sharma in these seaming conditions. #INDvSA— Winking Guy (@Winking_guy) January 5, 2018
No Ajinkya Rahane! Can someone tell virat kohli about his overseas record.— Swapnil (@ImSwapnil36) January 5, 2018
No doubt about Rohit Sharma's ability but this is different condition.#INDvSA
Don't understand the logic of dropping Ajinkya Rahane who is clearly the best batsmen in overseas conditions.This will only make his confidence drop further.#SAvIND— Vishal Barbhaya (@VishalBarbhaya4) January 5, 2018