Saha to replace Pant for Test series opener against South Africa


India: (from) Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

".if he does that (succeeds in the opening role), then our batting order at the top becomes more lethal". Obviously last time we came here as a batting unit and personally myself found it hard in tough conditions.

However, Pant has come in for criticism in recent times for his shot selection in limited-overs cricket. "The fact is that I needed to get better from a defensive and technical point of view to adapt to play in tough conditions", Du Plessis said on the eve of the first Test. His keeping credentials are for everyone to see. Kohli confirmed that both Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be starting in the playing XI. He has done well with the bat whenever he has got a chance. "We have taken appointments from the best in the business when it comes to stress fractures", the official said. Ashwin, who is yet to play global cricket since he injured himself during the Adelaide Test win last December, was not part of the Tests in the West Indies.

Can SA make a mark?


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Hardik Pandya to miss Bangladesh series in November after struggling with a stress fracture and has been dropped from the Test squad.

Injured India speedster Jasprit Bumrah will be off to the United Kingdom to seek opinion on his lower back stress fracture from multiple specialists. He had scalped 13 wickets in the two-Test matches against the Carribean nation.

In the new squad, fast bowler Anrich Nortje, wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Second and left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy are all uncapped.

South Africa will take the field in test cricket for the first time since the retirements of mainstays Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn, and skipper Faf du Plessis has already said he will retire after the Twenty20 World Cup next year. "There's a lot of senior players that are out of our system, our leadership group has changed completely, you've lost all your experience and those players". Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma were amongst the runs in the warm-up and that should give them confidence ahead of the game. While all of this leaves presents the picture of a team that may not have enough information about the conditions they will face in the coming weeks, it also means there are fewer memories of the 0-3 series loss from four years ago.