Ajinkya Rahane averages almost 70 in South Africa © AFP
Ajinkya Rahane averages almost 70 in South Africa © AFP

India tour of South Africa commenced on Friday. South Africa won the toss, elected to bat and Bhuvneshwar Kumar destroyed their top order. Virat Kohli dropped a bombshell at the toss. The team sheet did not have vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the XI. Rahane has been India’s best batsman overseas, but form has eluded him in the recent past.

Rahane, who led India to the Dharamsala Test win last year, had a miserable run with the red ball. He managed 49, 0, 45 and 0 for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy and flopped against Sri Lanka. While his colleagues feasted on the Lankan bowling, Rahane managed only 17 runs from 5 innings.

2017 was Rahane’s worst year as a batsman. He averaged 34.62. However, Rahane’s overseas average reads 53.44 and it propels to 69.66 in South Africa.

Twitterati were clearly unhappy with Rahane’s exclusion.

 

Rohit Sharma’s inclusion may raise eyebrows, but he has been in exceptional form across formats. He scored 217 runs against Sri Lanka from 3 innings. In the last tour, he registered his third ODI double-hundred and the joint-fastest T20I hundred.