Ajinkya Rahane    Getty Images
Ajinkya Rahane Getty Images

India took everyone by surprise by dropping Ajinkya Rahane in the first match of the three-Test series between India and South Africa at Cape Town. Rahane, who was not in his elements during India s home season, was replaced by Rohit Sharma.

Another surprise inclusion was that of Jasprit Bumrah. India s talismanic limited-overs specialist was picked ahead of veterans Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Bumrah, however, was impressive in his maiden Test: he took 4 wickets in the match, although he leaked runs in abundance.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said that he too was surprised with India’s changes in the playing XI: We were surprised, yes. We didn t think that Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Sharma would have played. They have been in a bit of form one-day cricket wise so they’re probably just running with that.

It was especially a test of Rohit’s character. He proved that he has all ingredients to excel in the longest format, but he could not provide impetus against South Africa’s quality bowling attack. He scored 21 runs off 89 deliveries in the Test.

India and South Africa will lock horns in the second Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion from January 13.