India vs South Africa, Test squad selection Highlights: Shubman Gill replaces KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma all set to open

As it happened: Shubman Gill received a maiden call-up to the Test squad as India’s selectors announced a 15-member squad to take on South Africa in the upcoming Test series. After struggling to hit his stride, KL Rahul got the axe, which could well mean Rohit Sharma gets bumped up the order to open the innings. The bowlers picked themselves after a stellar display in West Indies. Also, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari made solid impression which leaves the team management to choose between Gill and Rohit as Mayank Agarwal’s opening partnerFollow Team India selection highlights below:

India vs South Africa: Test squad selection updates(Getty Images)
India vs South Africa: Test squad selection updates(Getty Images)
Updated on Sep 12, 2019 07:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
17:02 hrs IST

Why Gill was selected?

“Shubman Gill has done well both as an opener and a middle-order batsman. So yes, he can be a back-up opener if needed. There is no dearth of openers in the country. We have created a good pool of players. There is Priyank Panchal and Abhmanyu Easwaran who are doing really well in domestic circuit,” said MSK Prasad.

16:56 hrs IST

Chief selector speaks

On Rohit Sharma’s position: “Rohit has been selected in the side as an opener. He will open in the three matches and also for the Board President XI.”

On KL Rahul’s exclusion: It is unfortunate that Rahul couldn’t perform consistently. He played well in patches.”

16:50 hrs IST

New opening duo confirmed

With KL Rahul not being a part of the 15-man squad, India will have a new opening duo and in all likelihood, it seems Rohit Sharma will partner Mayank Agarwal. KL Rahul has paid for his poor show in the longest format. He scored 664 runs in his last 30 Test innings and his only notable score was 149 against England at the Oval last year, coming in a dead fifth rubber.

16:42 hrs IST

Maiden Test call for Gill

Shubman Gill has been rewarded for his good form recently that saw him score runs a plenty for India ‘A’. He has replaced KL Rahul, who didn’t have a good outing in West Indies. Gill has earlier expressed his disappointment for not making it into any of the three teams travelling for West Indies but his time has finally come now.

16:35 hrs IST

India name 15-member squad

The big news coming in is that KL Rahul has been dropped from the Test team and Shubman Gill has been included into the squad.

India’s squad for 3 Tests: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk),Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill

16:25 hrs IST

India might go in with the same squad

There are murmurs that Indian selectors have chosen the same squad that travelled to West Indies and won the series 2-0. However, these are unconfirmed reports that our correspondent Aritra Mukherjee has dug out for us. We will wait for the official confirmation.

16:15 hrs IST

HT’s Aritra Mukherjee LIVE from venue

The selection meet has ended and the announcement is likely to be made very soon. It seems that selectors are likely to stick with majority of the squad that travelled to West Indies. Hardik Pandya seems to have returned after being rested for the Windies tour.

16:05 hrs IST

Test series schedule

India are scheduled to play three Tests against South Africa. The first match will of the series will be played in Vizag, second in Pune and third in Ranchi. The three-match series will begin after the culmination of three-match T20I series.

Visakhapatnam Test: October 2-6, 9:30 AM IST

Pune Test: October 10-14, 9:30 AM IST

Ranchi Test: October 19-23, 9:30 AM IST

15:55 hrs IST

Bumrah’s first series at home

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is all set to feature in his first Test series at home and he will be eager to put on similar performances on Indian wickets like he has done on foreign tracks recently. Bumrah has so far played in South Africa, England, Australia and West Indies and has been one of the top-performing bowlers for India.

15:45 hrs IST

HT’s Aritra Mukherjee LIVE from venue

The Indian team has arrived at the hotel. They are in the city for the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) event slated to begin from 5:30 PM today in the evening.

15:33 hrs IST

India’s bowling unit

Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin will be the three spinners while Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma will be the three pacers. In case Shami is rested, then Umesh Yadav can come in.The selection is expected to be pretty straightforward with only Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who isn’t fully fit, likely to miss out.

15:23 hrs IST

HT’s Aritra Mukherjee LIVE from venue

The selection meeting has begun and India skipper Virat Kohli has joined via tele-conference. Apparently it is not going to be a long meeting as the selectors are more or less certain about the Test squad that they want.

15:11 hrs IST

Wicket-keepers in squad

Test matches in India normally feature one specialist keeper in the side but Wriddhiman Saha is very much in the scheme of things even though Rishabh Pant remains the top choice. Pant has gone from strength to strength since his Test debut and team management will be hopeful he puts on consistent performances with the bat. As for Saha, he will have to be content with being the second best keeper-batsman in the country in the longest format.

15:00 hrs IST

HT’s Aritra Mukherjee LIVE from venue

Chief selector MSK Prasad and Devang Gandhi make their way to the conference room and Sarandeep Singh too joins them. The countdown begins!

14:50 hrs IST

HT’s Aritra Mukherjee LIVE from venue

Selector are gearing up for the meeting as Sarandeep Singh just walks through the lobby at a five-star hotel in New Delhi. Newly-appointed batting coach Vikram Rathour arrives at the venue and we are hearing the meeting is set to begin shortly.

14:40 hrs IST

Hardik Pandya: To be or not to be?

All-rounder Hardik Pandya could be back in the Test squad or else Navdeep Saini might come in as a back-up pacer.It remains to be seen whether the Think-Tank will want Pandya to only concentrate on white ball cricket in the next 13 months keeping the World Cup in focus. It must be noted that Pandya was rested for the Windies tour but was recalled for the T20I series against South Africa.

14:22 hrs IST

Rahul’s poor form at top

Rahul, considered a favourite of this team management, has scored 664 runs in his last 30 Test innings, with his only notable score, 149 against England at the Oval last year, coming in a dead fifth rubber. With Mayank Agarwal assured of his place, the only bone of contention could be the opening slot where a 15-member squad could ensure both Rohit and Easwaran make it.

14:10 hrs IST

Young guns in fray

Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, a prolific performer at the domestic and India A games, could be rewarded with a place in the side as a reserve opener, if the selection committee decides to drop Rahul. The other openers in contention are Priyank Panchal of Gujarat and Shubman Gill of Punjab.

13:58 hrs IST

Rohit Sharma as opener?

Cheteshwar Pujara, at No.3, and skipper Virat Kohli, at No.4, automatically pick themselves. This has left head coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Kohli with only one option, to try an explosive player like Rohit at the top of the order, following the ‘Virender Sehwag impact model’.

13:43 hrs IST

Big talking points

Opener KL Rahul’s poor show with the bat could pave the way for Rohit Sharma’s return to the Indian Test set-up. White ball vice-captain Rohit, who couldn’t make the cut in the playing XI against the West Indies, is expected to be tried out as an opener after Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahane sealed slot Nos 5 and 6 in the batting order respectively. Rohit’s last Test appearance for India was in the away series against Australia in 2018.

13:30 hrs IST

Hello and welcome

A very warm welcome to the live blog of India’s team selection for the upcoming series against South Africa. India are scheduled to play three T20Is followed by as many Tests against Proteas. The hosts have already announced their squad for the T20I series and today, they will be naming the squad for the Test series.

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