Players who might replace Ajinkya Rahane in the South Africa tour?

Jeremy Caroll

Rahane, 33, averages above 40 in foreign conditions, with eight of his 12 Test tonnes coming from outside of Australia. His recent performance, on the other hand, has been questionable. This year, he has only 411 runs at an average of 19.57 in 12 Tests. Rahane also lost his Test vice-captaincy to Rohit Sharma, who was also chosen the team’s ODI skipper on Wednesday, due to a poor run of form. When asked about Rahane’s future, Gambhir expressed doubts about the senior batter’s selection, especially with players like Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari in form. In the unofficial Tests against South Africa A in Bloemfontein, Vihari hit three consecutive fifties, while Iyer scored a tonne and a half-century on his Test debut in Kanpur.

In his last 20 innings, the Mumbai batter has only scored 591 runs. It’s made worse by the fact that, aside from his match-winning century at the MCG in 2020, he doesn’t have a lot of memorable knocks to his name. India’s stand-in Test captain struggled with the bat in the first Test against New Zealand.
As a result, the Indian selectors will almost certainly look to replace him for the upcoming tour to South Africa. Several players have made compelling arguments to replace the veteran. So, who do you think has a chance to become India’s new number five in Tests?

We’ll examine at five players that could step in for Ajinkya Rahane on the South Africa tour in this article:

Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Iyer is off to a flying start in Test cricket. The Mumbai batsman has demonstrated that he is here to stay with a century on his debut. To put it mildly, his perseverance was admirable.
In addition, the right-hander has excellent domestic statistics. He has 4592 runs in 54 games of first-class cricket. His average is 52.18, and his strike rate is 81.54. There are 23 fifties and 12 hundreds represented in this collection.
The best thing about having him on your team is his upbeat attitude and lack of fear. He always tries to score runs, no matter what the circumstances are. Last but not least, he is a suitable successor for Ajinkya Rahane because of his batting position.

Ishan Kishan

The 23-year-old wicketkeeper batsman has yet to play for India in a Test match. He is without a doubt one of India’s most promising cricket prospects. Ishan, who debuted in both the ODI and T20I formats this year, was even named to India’s T20 World Cup roster. He made an early impression at the World Cup, scoring 70* against England in the first warm-up game. In the present unofficial Tests against South Africa A, the brilliant southpaw is currently playing for India A.In his last two innings, he has scored 91 and 49 runs while pitching in the middle of the order. We’ve seen how this Mumbai Indians star has smashed even the best bowlers all over the park on numerous occasions in the IPL. Ishan 2714 first-class runs at a 37.69 average, with a best score of 273. He’s already proven his worth in longer formats. Unfortunately, he was unable to make the Indian Test squad for the series against South Africa, so his wait for his Test debut continues.

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav, whether in the IPL or the Indian domestic circuit, has always caught the attention of selectors and made headlines. With the bat, he has demonstrated great consistency and power. Suryakumar Yadav debuted for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy in 2010. The 31-year-old has yet to play in a Test match. In 2021, he made his T20I and ODI debuts for India. During the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, though, he struggled to make an impact with the bat. The fact that he has been retained by the Mumbai Indians, the five-time IPL champions, for the 2022 IPL speaks volumes about his batsmanship.This veteran campaigner deserves a Test call-up against South Africa, with 5326 first-class runs at an average of 44.01 and the best score of 200. After coming in as an injured replacement, Yadav was a member of India’s Test team against England. He could not make it to the XI, thus he had to warm the bench. With his performance against New Zealand, Shreyas Iyer has confirmed his place in the Indian middle order. However, instead of the out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane, India might have brought in Suryakumar Yadav.

Shubman Gill

While Shubman Gill has previously been in a few games for India, his inclusion in this list may confound some fans. While the brilliant player is best known as an opener, he could be asked to bat in the middle of the order.

KL Rahul will almost certainly return to the XI once he is fit. Gill will have no choice but to bat at number five because he and Rohit Sharma are at the top of the order. Furthermore, given the fact that the 22-year-old has done nothing wrong to be booted from the team, this appears to be a plausible alternative.Because the Punjab batter has spent his entire career as an opener, the new job at number five may be simpler for him. This is because he usually bats with the new ball, therefore batting with the older ball shouldn’t be too difficult for him.

Priyank Panchal

In the domestic circuit, Priyank Panchal is known as ‘Mr Consistency.’ In first-class cricket, the Gujarat batsman has racked up a tonne of runs. He’s also one of the top batsmen in the Ranji Trophy.

In reality, given his lack of international experience, it’s fair to conclude he’s been unfortunate. He was named as one of India’s five standby players for the 2021 Test series against England, however he did not play. Indian selectors would be quite confident in him if he were to score runs for pleasure in the domestic arena.The 31-year-old has 6891 runs in 98 first-class games, according to his stats. He has a 45.63 batting average. There are 24 fifties and 24 hundreds in all.

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