India in South Africa

Yes for Rahane, no for Dhawan: The Field’s readers pick India’s playing XI for 2nd Test

Thirty one percent of voters wanted Parthiv Patel in the XI despite Wriddhiman Saha’s flawless display behind the stumps – and they might just get their wish.

After a fantastic game of cricket in Cape Town that ended in a 72-run defeat for Virat Kohli and Co, all the talk in the lead-up to the second Test between India and South Africa has been about the playing XI for the visitors.

We all know by now that Kohli doesn’t name the same line-up in consecutive matches – a run that has extended for 33 Tests now – and in all likelihood, that will remain the case in Centurion when he walks out for the toss in a must-not-lose situation.

Kohli raised plenty of eyebrows with his team selection for the first Test at Newlands. No Ajinkya Rahane, no Ishant Sharma, no KL Rahul and most surprisingly, a debut for Jasprit Bumrah. There was also a report that Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not meant to be picked, if Ishant hadn’t fallen ill.

On Thursday, seeing as everyone had their opinion what India’s XI should be, The Field published a survey, asking our readers to pick their choice of XI players.

Here is how the survey panned out:

A few observations:

  • Shikhar Dhawan, throwing his wicket away for 16 runs in both the innings of the first Test, finished rock bottom with only 17% retaining him in the XI.
  • Interestingly enough, as high as 31% of voters wanted Parthiv Patel in the XI despite Wriddhiman Saha’s flawless display behind the stumps, taking 10 catches – an Indian record. (And signs are, Parthiv might well play!)
  • There was a lot of love for Rahane with 84% readers wanting the vice captain back in the XI.
  • Bumrah impressed in the second innings, but it was still a tight call between him and Ishant Sharma.

How close will this be to the XI that Kohli fields on Saturday? As always, with the Indian captain, one never knows what’s coming.

Here’s the survey, if you want to keep voting.

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