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The defeat at Cape Town suggests that India’s decision to drop Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul was wrong. Had the result been otherwise, the blunder would not have been spoken at length. That being said, Rahane has better numbers than Rohit Sharma in South Africa: his 51* and 96 at Durban had come in the face of adversity; in the same match, Rohit had scores of 0 and 25.

Although Shikhar Dhawan looked to play his strokes on a green track, some believe that Rahul has a better technique to survive in such conditions. Rahul had scored seven consecutive fifties last year: five against Australia at home and two in Sri Lanka.

Sourav Ganguly believes that India should not have overlooked Rahane and Rahul’s performances. “The history of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in overseas conditions is not very good. Their record is basically chalk and cheese when it comes to overseas Tests. It is fine to go by current form, but they should not have overlooked the performances of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane in overseas conditions in the past few years,” Ganguly told India Today.

Against Sri Lanka at home, Rahane scored a mere 17 runs at 3.4 while Rohit amassed 217 runs in one Test fewer than Rahane.

“Well, we decided to go on current form. Rohit (Sharma) has scored runs in the last three Test matches that he has played, and he was batting well, even in the series against Sri Lanka, said Kohli had said in the post-match conference on Monday.