India’s Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant trained with former batter Vinod Kambli ahead of the South Africa series. The former India batter said “it was a pleasure” to share “valuable insights” about the conditions they are likely to encounter in South Africa. India are slated to play three Tests, starting on December 26 followed by as many ODIs in South Africa. The tour is certain to be a test for both Rahane and Pant. The former lost his vice-captaincy, barely managing to hold on to his place in the squad despite a prolonged lean patch.
Kambli shared photographs with Rahane and Pant in his official Koo handle and wrote: “Was a pleasure to help Ajinkya & Rishabh train for the upcoming South Africa series. Shared some valuable insights with them about the SA conditions. My best wishes to them for #INDvSA series. P.S. Christiano got some lessons as well.”
Rahane, who captained India in the first Test against New Zealand, is not going through the best of phases as a better. He missed the second Test match due to an injury. His average in the 16 Test matches that he has played in the last two years is only 24.39 with only one hundred – in Melbourne against Australia – and two fifties. It will be interesting to see if he starts in the XI in the Boxing Day Test match against South Africa as Shreyas Iyer, who had made his debut against New Zealand, did exceedingly well in the opportunities he got. Pant, on the other hand, doesn’t have that kind of a baggage. The left-hander was rested from the New Zealand Tests and would be eager to make his mark in South Africa, where he is set to play his maiden Test.
Meanwhile, India were dealt with a heavy as newly-appointed white-ball skipper and Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the entire three-match Test series with a hamstring injury. Gujarat opener Priyank Panchal was named in the squad as Rohit’s replacement. “Priyank Panchal replaces injured Rohit Sharma in India’s Test squad. Rohit sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session here in Mumbai yesterday. He has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa,” BCCI said.