In preparation for the impending South Africa trip, Ajinkya Rahane and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant received assistance in the nets from former cricketer Vinod Kambli on Monday in Mumbai.
Rahane, who has been battling for runs in red-ball cricket for the last few years, received some batting advice from Kambli, who represented India in 17 Tests from 1993 to 1995.
As a result of yet another dismal series with the bat against New Zealand at home, Rahane was demoted from vice-captain, where he was replaced by Rohit. Because of a hamstring injury, Rohit was ruled out of the three Tests in South Africa starting on Monday, leaving the position empty for the time being.
As Sharma’s replacement, Priyank Panchal, who most recently captained the India A team on their recent tour of South Africa, has been named to the position. For India A, Panchal amassed 120 runs in three innings, with an average of 40 runs per innings and a maximum score of 96. Over the course of 100 first-class matches, he has scored 7011 runs at an average of 45.52.
Rahane has been averaging just over 17 in Tests this year, but if he is picked into the South African starting XI, he will have a chance to turn things around in the country.
Kambli and his son Christiano were among those who helped him prepare for the season in Mumbai. Pant, who has been one of India’s most prolific run-scorers in Tests this year with an average of just over 41, was also a part of the group.
“Was a pleasure to help Ajinkya & Rishabh train for the upcoming South Africa series. Shared some valuable insights with them about the SA conditions. My best wishes to them for #SAvIND series. P.S. Christiano got some lessons as well,” Kambli tweeted.
Was a pleasure to help Ajinkya & Rishabh train for the upcoming South Africa series. Shared some valuable insights with them about the SA conditions. My best wishes to them for #SAvIND series.
P.S. Christiano got some lessons as well ? pic.twitter.com/bi0aRuyJHj
— Vinod Kambli (@vinodkambli349) December 13, 2021
Pant will be making his first visit to South Africa as part of this trip. He has, however, previously represented his country in Test matches in Australia, England, New Zealand, and the West Indies.
In the early 2000s, Kambli played for the Boland Cricket Club in South Africa in an attempt to resurrect his international career after a lengthy absence. He was unable to make a return into the Indian squad, and his career came to an end with 17 Tests and 104 One-Day Internationals to his credit.
It is unclear if Rohit Sharma would be able to recuperate in time for the One-Day International series, which begins on January 19. After Virat Kohli was fired from his position as ODI captain last week, Rohit was appointed as the replacement.
From December 26, India will play three Tests and three One-Day Internationals in South Africa, with the four Twenty20 Internationals to be played at a later date.
Also Read: World’s Highest Paid Cricket Coach Earns More Than Virat Kohli