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Twitter reacts as India drops Shreyas Iyer and picks Ajinkya Rahane for Boxing day test

Shreyas Iyer had scored a hundred on test debut against New Zealand

Despite the fact that Shreyas Iyer scored a hundred on his test debut in Kanpur only a few weeks back, the  Mumbai right-hander was handed an axe from the playing XI today for the Boxing Day test match against South Africa in Centurion.

The former Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who lost both his spot in the playing XI and his vice-captaincy recently because of his poor form with the bat, was back into the playing XI for the Centurion Test, leaving many of the Indian fans quite surprised.

One of the arguments behind Iyer’s sacking is that the team management might not have been sure about his credentials in overseas conditions, but even if that was the case, the second in line was Hanuma Vihari, who was there in South Africa for quite some time with the India A team and was already acclimatized to the conditions. But, even Vihari was overlooked and Rahane was given another go.

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Rahane has got a good record in South Africa in test match cricket, as he is one of the few two players in this Indian team who averages more than 50 with the bat in South Africa. Another current Indian batsman who averages more than 50 in test cricket in South Africa is the captain Virat Kohli himself.

However, a lot of the Indian fans are of the opinion that the historical record of a player at a certain venue can’t be given preference over the current form. Based on the current form, either Shreyas Iyer or Hanuma Vihari should have got into the playing XI.

Rahul Dravid had dropped no hints yesterday that Shreyas Iyer would be dropped

India’s head coach Rahul Dravid, however, in his press conference had already hinted that Rahane had been training well and was in good mental space, but he didn’t drop any hints that Shreyas Iyer was going to be dropped, and the speculations were there that India might go with an extra batsman.

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But, India went with their old philosphy of playing with 5 specialist bowlers, with Shardul Thakur batting at no. 7 and Ravichandran Ashwin at no. 8, and they rather dropped Iyer to accommodate Rahane, a move which not many people saw coming.

It now depends on Rahane’s performance in the match and the outcome of the game, but if it doesn’t go well for India, the team management might have to cope with massive criticism. The Indian fans already came up with sarcastic and angry reactions on Twitter as the playing XI was released after the toss.

 

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Abhishek

I write a bit on cricket and I am more interested in technical and tactical side of the game, rather than bravado.

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