While Ishant's selection is definitely dubious and defies cricketing sense, Rahul's could be viewed as contentious.
Well they might in this case. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty vision and therefore any criticism should be made before the result of the Test is known. "I used my wrist a lot more when I delivered the ball, and used my palm more when I bowl the floater". He was quite vocal in his criticism of dropping Bhuvneshwar. Anil Kumble (21), Shubhash Gupte, Pragyan Ojha and BS Chandrasekhar (22), Vinoo Mankad (23), Harbhajan Singh and Kapil Dev (25) are the other bowlers in the list.
"It was a reality check in terms of not being able to win a Test match for the country on day five when all things were actually set up for a spinner", Ashwin said after bowling 30 overs for under three an over and three wickets to go with it. "The one thing I have comfortably done is conveniently forget the history about South Africa", he said.
Kohli, meanwhile, scored his 16th Test half-century off 68 balls and was inclusive of seven boundaries. However, they decided against it and included Ashwin into the playing XI after inspecting the pitch on the eve of the second Test, according to the Tamil Nadu off-spinner, who starred with three wickets on Saturday. He has the most runs by any batsman in Centurion where his haul of scoring 50 or more 12 times in 17 innings includes four hundreds and one double-hundred.
Going by the speed gun on the first morning of the second Test, Ishant was barely managing to register the same speed so the theory of his greater pace and bounce was just theoretical. Had it not been for the couple of run outs in the third session - Amla and Vernon Philander - the hosts would have taken the bragging honours at the end of the opening day.An ineffective bowling attack and a batting wicket is all former skipper Hashim Amla needed to roar back into form with a classy 82.
Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 4-113 and wrapped up the South African innings when Morkel was caught at long off. It was like a burst of cold wind on a hot summer's day - the bowlers ran in that bit harder and there was a spring in the stride fielders too. He fended off the rising delivery outside the off stump with controlled cut and push.
Centurion - Lungi Ngidi claimed his first Test wicket and produced a brilliant runout on what was a gruelling day of hard-fought Test cricket at Centurion on Sunday.
The pitch had flattened considerably but technique was still required to score quickly. His absence from the team further weakens an already brittle line-up. Moreover, it sends a poor message to the team if one of the best performers in the previous Test is benched on such flimsy grounds and dubious logic. Rabada took the bait, but a near collision between Shami and Hardik Pandya at point-cover point resulted in another drop.
When rest of the Indian batsmen looked in little discomfort against the South African bowling attack, Kohli was at his positive best as he played his drives and pulls with consummate ease from the onset.