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India vs South Africa 2021: 'Ajinkya Rahane Cannot Play First Test'-VVS Laxman

Ajinkya Rahane and VVS Laxman.

Ajinkya Rahane and VVS Laxman.

Laxman also opined that he would pick Hanuma Vihari in the first of the three-match Test series.

Former India cricketer VVS Laxman has picked Shreyas Iyer over Ajinkya Rahane for the upcoming South Africa tour where India will open the campaign on December 26 with the Boxing Day Test. He said the team can’t go ahead with Ajinkya Rahane as Iyer needs some sort of continuity. He added the Mumbaikar has shown gumption, slamming a century on debut and then following it up with a half century. “According to me, Ajinkya Rahane cannot play in the first match. Continuity is very important, so I will play Shreyas Iyer because if you give someone two Test matches and the way he batted on debut under pressure. Iyer scored a century and a half-century, so I will give that continuity, the confidence that you want to give to a young batsman, I will definitely give that,” VVS Laxman said on Star Sports.

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He also opined that he would pick Hanuma Vihari in the first of the three-match Test series. “I will definitely include Hanuma Vihari in the squad because with what combination does Virat Kohli play. We have seen that the top five will be batters, Rishabh Pant at No.6 as a wicketkeeper-batsman,” Laxman said. He also emphasised on the role of Ravindra Jadeja the all-rounder. He also felt the team must go in with 3+1 combination which means three seamers and one spinner in Ravi Ashwin.

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“Jadeja can play as an all-rounder because he performs with the bat as well and you can’t take Jadeja lightly as a batsman anymore, even in overseas conditions. So Jadeja will be at No.7 and after that, four bowlers – three fast bowlers and Ravichandran Ashwin. So this will be the combination,” Laxman added.

India begin South Africa tour with the first Test match in Centurion on December 26. The series will be three games long and will be followed by as many Test matches.

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first published:December 07, 2021, 14:29 IST