Ajinkya Rahane cannot play: VVS Laxman wants India to drop vice-captain in 1st Test against South Africa

Former India batter VVS Laxman wants Team India to not play vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the first Test of the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa. India is all set to travel to South Africa later this month for a full-fledged tour consisting of three Tests and three ODIs. The tour was scheduled to begin on December 17 but had to be postponed due to Omicron threat.

The three-match Test series will now kick off from December 26 with the Boxing Day Test in Centurion. Rahane, who is going through a rough patch in his Test career for a while now, continued to struggle in the recently-concluded series against New Zealand as he failed to get among the runs.

Laxman believes Rahane should make way for Shreyas Iyer, who made a fantastic debut with a century and a half-century in his debut game for India against the Kiwis. Iyer did well in the middle-order and is breathing down Rahane’s neck to take his spot in the batting line-up. Laxman feels continuity is important and that Iyer should be given a long rope.

“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,” Laxman said on Star Sports.

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“He 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,” added the former India batter.

With Laxman backing Iyer’s inclusion in the squad, it remains to be seen if Rahane will continue to be a regular in the playing XI for Team India in the South Africa Test series. Some reports have suggested that Rohit Sharma is likely to replace Rahane as the vice-captain of the Test team ahead of the South Africa tour.


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