Rahane's vice-captaincy, Ishant's place under the scanner

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane will find it difficult to retain his vice-captaincy after a string of failures. File photo: Twitter/ICC

New Delhi: Ajinkya Rahane is expected to keep his place in the Indian team but whether he would remain vice- captain remains to be seen when the selectors announce the Test squad for the tour of South Africa on Wednesday.

It is learnt that announcement of the ODI squad could be delayed as the first match is on January 19 and the sensitive issue of Virat Kohli's future as white-ball leader is at stake.

However, Rahane, whose place in the playing eleven is under doubt, will find it difficult to retain his vice-captaincy after a string of failures. Rahane did not feature in the Mumbai Test against New Zealand due to a hamstring niggle.

If Rahane is stripped of Test vice-captaincy, senior batter Rohit Sharma is the front-runner for the job.

Similarly, Ishant Sharma, who has played more than 100 Tests, doesn't look the force to reckon with anymore and he might not fit in the team, whether it's a three or four-pronged pace attack that India may use.

The likes of Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan may join Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.

With Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill and the in-form Hanuma Vihari set for the middle order, one between Priyank Panchal or Abhimanyu Easwaran could be the back up No. 3 for Cheteshwar Pujara.

Likely Indian squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Chesteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan/Deepak Chahar, Wriddhiman Saha, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Abhimanyu Easwaran/Priyank Panchal, Jayant Yadav.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.