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KL Rahul axed, Shubnam Gill finds spot in India squad for South Africa Tests

By Saurabh Sharma
Sep 12, 2019 • 18:44 PM

New Delhi, Sep 12: Out-of-form opener Lokesh Rahul has been excluded while rookie Shubman Gill has received his maiden call-up for the upcoming three-Test series against South Africa starting October 2.

Rahul has not been able to score runs in recent times. Even in the two-Test series against the West Indies, he managed scores of 44, 38, 13 and 6. He hasn't managed a 50+ score since his 149 against England at the Oval some twelve innings back.

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BCCI chief selector M.S.K. Prasad had earlier acknowledged that Rahul's form in Tests was a cause of concern for the team and that the board might have limited-over opener Rohit Sharma to open the innings in the five-day format as well.

Meanwhile, Gill has received his maiden Test call owing to his great run in recent times. Gill scored 90 and 5 in the first unofficial Test against South Africa A that concluded on Thursday to boost his chances.

Pacer Umesh Yadav has also been dropped from the squad that recently beat the West Indies 2-0 in the away series.

The first Test against South Africa will be played in Visakhapatnam from October 2 before the teams travel to Pune for the second Test from October 10. The final match of the series will be played in Ranchi from October 19.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill