India shouldn't have overlooked the recent overseas performance of Rahul & Pujara: Ganguly

India shouldn't have overlooked the recent overseas performance of Rahul & Pujara: Ganguly

India skipper Virat Kohli is yet to field an unchanged XI as Test skipper and after the first Test loss at Cape Town, the trend might continue as India are set to make some changes. India had lost Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli but it had started to look like Rohit and Pujara, two players with contrasting styles, would bail them out. You look at their records, it's like chalk and cheese when they go away and when they are in India. Three of those hundreds have come against Australia (1), England (1) and New Zealand (1) while the rest are against Sri Lanka (2) and the West Indies (1).

Granted Rahul did not get enough match practice in the long format during the run up to the tour, while vice-captain Rahane was frustratingly out of form during the past few weeks.

"I don't think we have to panic because of the collapses of the first match but people need to apply themselves much better‚" he said.

"I said it at my first arrival press conference that one must not be surprised by the bounce here".

"I feel that definitely the batting order through mistakes we committed in the first game and through the experience we gained in the first game, we are certainly in a much better shape to come at their bowling attack in this game", he added.

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Centurion/Mumbai: Regular Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and opener KL Rahul had extended nets at Centurion two days before the all-important second Test against South Africa.

The second Test begins on January 13 at Centurion on a track which is even more renowned for its pace than the one which Cape Town offered. If you had just arrived hoping to watch India's famed batting strut its stuff, you would have had to avert your eyes.

If Rahul finds a spot in the playing 11, he will be likely replacing Dhawan and not Vijay.

To be fair to Rahane, he's a classic Test match cricketer who deserves a place in the eleven, especially with India playing overseas when he averages close to 55. The 29-year-old, who was ranked by ESPN as one of the most famous athletes in the world, arrived in South Africa in sparkling form after scoring consecutive double centuries as India won a three-Test series against Sri Lanka on home soil. On nought at the time the tailender went on to get 35 runs, helping South Africa to a 40-over-par total of 286.

However, when it comes to overseas form, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have both struggled to perform. What I got from the groundsman was that it was burnt from the heat. "Another partnership of 50 runs would have sealed the game in India's favour", he said.

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