The Indian team lost the first test by 72 runs and changes were expected in the team for the second test. The match to be played at the Centurian is a do or die match, as a loss here would mean that the South Africans will win the three-test series. India TV sports has reported that Bhuvnesh Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan have been dropped in preference to Ishant Sharma and KL Rahul. Many of the top past players led by Alan Donald and Sunil Gavaskar have adversely commented on the dropping of seam bowler Bhuvnesh Kumar, who had bowled splendidly at Newlands and had reduced South Africa to 12 for 3.

Team selection

The dropping of Kumar defies logic as he looked the most penetrative bowler in the last test match.

Test veteran Virendra Shewag, himself a twice triple century hitter in test matches has expressed his surprise at the dropping of Dhawan after just one test failure. In a comment on Star sports, the veteran has said that Kohli must drop himself from the team if he again fails at the Centurian Park. These are strong words but there is some logic in what Shewag says.

Petty rivalries

Indian cricket has for decades been beset by petty rivalries. One can recollect the rivalry between Vijay Merchant and Vijay Hazare, and Polly Umrigar and Ghulam Ahmed. Controversies and petty rivalries continue to dog Indian cricket and one of the most prolific batsmen, Karun Nair was dropped from the very next test match after he had hit 303 not out against England at Chennai.

In the history of test cricket, there is no example of a player being dropped from the test cricket team after hitting a triple century.

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He was replaced by Ajinkya Rahane, who finds himself in the doghouse on this tour. Such are the vagaries of Indian cricket.

There is another change in the team and the wicketkeeper Wirdhimin Saha is replaced by Parthiv Patel. This looks justified as Saha has a side strain and Patel is the better batsman.

Second test

The second test is underway and South Africa have won the toss and scored 269 for 6. The match is evenly poised but the Indian pacemen including Ishant who replaced Bhuvnesh looked off colour.

Much will depend on Kohli who has to perform to cement his place as the best batter in the world. At the back of his mind will be the acerbic comment of Virendra Sehwag. Another failure by Kohli will be curtains for India. Kohli has also to answer the charge of partiality in cricket selection. He was the captain when Nair was dropped after hitting a triple century.