India are set to take on South Africa in a three-match Test series from December 26. Ahead of the series, the Virat Kohli-led side has been dealt with a massive blow as ace opener and vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the series. Rohit picked up the injury while training in Mumbai for the tour. Meanwhile, India A skipper Priyank Panchal has been named as Rohit’s replacement.
In the absence of Rohit, India will have to open with Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul. They may also ask Hanuma Vihari to open. Rohit was set to play a big role for India, especially after the kind of form he showed in England, where he looked at complete ease against the moving ball.
India have never won a series in South Africa but the upcoming tour might be their best chance. The key to success in South Africa is a good opening stand and Rohit would have been an asset for India, especially considering that the following batters – Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are not in the best of form.
It is also not confirmed if Rohit will be available for the following ODI series. As per reports, Rohit’s injury is serious and will take some time to heal.
Speaking about Priyank Panchal, he was part of India A tour of South Africa and managed to score 120 runs at an average of 40. Overall, he has over 7000 runs in domestic cricket.