Karthik to switch injured Saha for third South Africa…

Parthiv, Rahul set to play; Ishant may replace Bhuvi

Dinesh Karthik will replace Wriddhiman Saha in the Indian squad before the third Test against South Africa, as BCCI revealed on Tuesday.

As a result, Karthik will be hoping to play in his first Test match since January 2010 when the third Test commences on January 24 in Johannesburg.

The Indian team management is all set to drop wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and opener Shikhar Dhawan from the playing XI for the second Test against South Africa but chances of Ajinkya Rahane's comeback look highly unlikely.

Saha played in the first Test at Cape Town where he scored just 8 runs in the second innings after being dismissed for a duck in the first. The 32-year-old has 51 catches and five stumpings to his credit.

It is learnt that the conditions in Centurion may not aid swing bowling and Ishant Sharma could be considered in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, despite his six-wicket match haul and a gritty 25 in the first Test.

Despite India captain Virat Kohli clarifying at the toss that Saha had been left out because of a hamstring niggle, many considered it "a bluff" to include Parthiv and "strengthen" batting.

Arguably the best wicket-keeper in world cricket at present, Saha's absence has been felt in the second Test with Parthiv putting down Hashim Amla off Ishant Sharma, and Faf du Plessis off Ashwin (both in the first innings) and not going for a catch well within his reach when the left-handed Dean Elgar edged Jasprit Bumrah.

However, Karthik, on the other hand, has been in sublime form in India's interstate T20 championship, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he hit 3 consecutive half-centuries for Tami Nadu.

He is also a part of the ODI squad which will play the 6-match ODI series against South Africa following the Tests. Saha was replaced by the southpaw after getting injured.

- Asraf49q (@Asraf89747876) January 16, 2018RT if u want to see Murli Vijay and Dinesh Karthik batting together.

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