Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the team came under the scanner due to their ineffective performance in the last couple of innings. However, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar believes that they have justified their place in the team with the performance in the second innings. He also said that the Indian team should stick with Pujara and Rahane due to what they have done in the past.
Meanwhile, South Africa levelled the series against India after winning the Johannesburg Test by seven wickets due to the batting efforts by Dean Elgar. Elgar made 96 runs off 188 balls and won the player of the match award for this performance. Both the teams will now move to Cape Town to play the third and the final Test starting on January 11.
India made 202 runs in the first innings, KL Rahul scored a half-century and the Indian middle-order again failed to score runs. Shardul Thakur picked a seven-fer to restrict South Africa to 229 runs in their first innings and the Proteas could take only a lead of 20 runs. In India’s second innings Pujara and Rahane stitched a partnership of 111 runs for the third wicket. Both the veterans scored a half-century each.
“Look, the Indian team has backed them [Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane] because of their experience, because of what they have done for India in the past. As long as senior players are playing, playing well, not getting out badly, if they are getting out on good delivery that’s not the matter but if they are not getting out badly, then I think they should stick to them (combination),” Gavaskar said as quoted by NDTV.
India has not won a Test match in Cape Town
India lost for the first time in Johannesburg during the last Test as South Africa chased the highest total against in home conditions. The venue for the third Test will be a little tricky for India as the team has lost three out of the five matches at the venue while matches have ended in a draw. They lost the last time by 72 runs after failing to chase down a target of 208 runs.