India’s Predicted XI For 1st Test: In Rohit’s Absence; Mayank Likely to Open With Rahul 

Centurion: In less than a week from now, India would be locking horns with a formidable South African side at Centurion for the Boxing Day Test. While there is massive talk about who would make the XI and who would miss out – looks like the biggest dilemma would be around Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari. Would the side play both or neither of one of them?Also Read – With no Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane Out-of-Form; Will Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari Both Find Spots in India’s Playing XI For Boxing Day Test at Centurion?

With Ajinkya Rahane out-of-form, it is likely in-form Shreyas Iyer slots in at No 5. Also, with no Ravindra Jadeja in the mix, Hanuma Vihari – who has been in South Africa with the ‘A-side’, is likely to be preferred. Also Read – Massive Setback For Fans; Boxing Day Test at Centurion Between India-South Africa to be Played Behind Closed Door: Report

The rest of the side would be as expected. Also Read – IPL Mega Auction: Aakash Chopra Expects Lucknow Franchise to go After KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya After Andy Flower, Gautam Gambhir Appointment

With no Rohit Sharma, in-form Mayank Agarwal looks set to open with India’s new vice-captain KL Rahul. The management – despite his poor form – is likely to back the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara in the challenging conditions of South Africa.

There is no doubt over who would bat at No 4. It would be the India skipper who would take that position. Rishabh Pant would fit in at No 6 between Iyer and Vihari. Ravi Ashwin would be the sole spinner in the Boxing Day Test, while the three pacers would be Md Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Md Siraj.

India’s Predicted XI For Boxing Day Test: KL Rahul (VC), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari, Ravi Ashwin, Md Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Md Siraj

The first Test starts on December 26 at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Both teams would look to get early momentum.

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