According to a report published in The Times of India, Dhawan injured his ankle on the same day when skipper Virat Kohli hosted his reception in Mumbai on December 26. It is also being reported that KL Rahul and Murali Vijay will be tasked with opening the batting in the first Test.
In the recently-concluded Sri Lanka series, Dhawan featured in two Tests, where he scored 192 runs, which included two half-centuries. While as for Vijay, in the two matches that he played against the Islanders, he scored 292 runs, which included two centuries. Besides, Vijay was part of the Indian team that toured South Africa in 2013/14, so Dhawan's absence can be coped up with the right-hander's experience at the top.
However, the onus will be on Rahul make it count in Dhawan's absence as he failed miserably with the bat against Sri Lanka and now has the chance to shine. In two Tests against Sri Lanka, could only muster 86 runs in three innings, which included one score of 79.
In his first press-conference in South Africa, skipper Virat Kohli didn't reveal anything regarding Dhawan's injury or even team composition for that matter, however, Kohli went onto say that the balance of his side and confidence the players have in themselves could help them end India's South Africa drought.
"We have the right kind of bowling attack and the right kind of balance to win Test matches in any conditions we play in. A lot of our players have played here before. But it's about the number of games we had played then and the number we have played now. We all understand our own games so much better. As a team we have confidence in our personal skills set," said Kohli during a press conference on Saturday.
Even coach Ravi Shastri echoed the sentiments of his skipper and said that the team cannot wait for the first Test to begin.
"This team is up for the challenge. If you had asked me four years ago I would have said no. But this team has gained in experience. The beauty of this team is that it doesn't matter which opposition. We look at the pitch and adapt to the conditions. Every game is a home game. It's as simple as that," said Shastri.
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First Published: December 30, 2017, 8:49 PM IST