India vs South Africa: Kohli announces Wriddhiman Saha’s return to country’s playing XI

Saha set to make a comeback to India's playing XI after a long injury lay off. He last played a Test during the South Africa tour in January 2018 before being impeded by a shoulder injury.

Captain Virat Kohli announce Wriddhiman Saha’s return, with Rishabh Pant being sidelined, to Indian line-up playing XI for the first Test match against South Africa. The Bengal player was called the “best wicketkeeper” in the world by Kohli. 

Saha, the 34-year-old player, has been out of the team for a long time due to his injury. He came back into the side during the two-Test series in West Indies in August but didn’t get a chance to play as Pant kept wickets in both the games. 

Pant’s place as a wicketkeeper in his absence and became the team’s number one wicketkeeper in the longest format with centuries in England and Australia. However, his rise was followed by criticism for his restless stroke-making. Saha has played 32 Tests so far and has scored a total of 1164 runs at 30.63. 

The skipper stated that Saha has always been and will be the first choice for the traditional format. Saha has performed immensely well, even under pressure. 

Rohit Sharma will open innings

BCCI reports that R Ashwin, country’s premier off-spinner, will also be returning to playing XI following his last outing in Adelaide Test. Ashwin, like Sahs, was also a part of the Indian team but didn’t feature in any of the three Tests in the Caribbean. The spin bowling duties will be shared by Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari, who is kept as an additional option. 

Rohit Sharma will be opening the innings in the cricket test match along with Mayank Agarwal. Kohli also clarified that the country’s limited-overs vice-captain would be given ample time to find his rhythm at the top of the orders in the whites.

Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma are the two pacers in the line-up which makes it a four-man bowling attack. Interestingly enough, India bat very deep till number 9, which is great and to strengthen things in their favor, Ishant can also hang around and will come at 10.

Team India for the first Test will comprise of Captain Virat Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.

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A passionate writer with bachelor’s in the field of English & Journalism. Other than being a bibliophile, some of her hobbies are travelling, photography and poetry.

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Saumya Uniyal
Saumya Uniyal
A passionate writer with bachelor’s in the field of English & Journalism. Other than being a bibliophile, some of her hobbies are travelling, photography and poetry.

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