South Africa vs India: Ajinkya Rahane in 'good condition' ahead of first Test - Head coach Rahul Dravid

25/12/2021 19:39:12 PM   Rajan Kumar Singh         199

Indian men's cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid said that batter Ajinkya Rahane is in good space ahead of the first Test match against South Africa on Sunday. The Indian team will face South Africa in the 'Boxing Day' Test match as the three-match Test series kick starts in Centurion. India's major concern in SA is likely going to be their batting as their middle-order batters like Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are struggling to perform with the bat.

Rahane has lost his Test vice-captaincy recently and will be under pressure to perform if given a chance as Shreyas Iyer who made a Test ton on his debut in Kanpur is eyeing a place in playing elven.

"Conversation with Ajinkya Rahane has been very positive and very good. He has trained very good this week and practised really well. It's been no different to actually any conversation with most of the players. He seems to be in a really good space," Dravid said while replying to ANI query in the virtual press conference on Saturday.

The Indian team beating Australia twice in a Test series in their backyard and taking an unbeatable 2-1 lead against England have raised the expectations from them to win their first Test series in the 'Rainbow Nation'.

"Hopefully, we keep improving as a Test team and keep getting better as a group. Virat's played a huge role in that. As a player and leader, he's been fantastic. Certainly looking forward to keep that carrying forward from him. He's one of those who really love Test cricket, hopefully, he has a great series. That will benefit the team as well," Dravid said.

On having no warm-up matches before the series, the coach added, "That's just the way things are at the moment. Kind of schedules we are working with, as with the COVID situation and bubbles, it's not always easy to get what you want. But the team have really responded well, we have really worked hard with the centre-wicket session."

The Test series between India and South Africa will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.

The updated schedule is as follows: First Test will take place from December 26-30 at the SuperSport Park, Centurion; Second Test will take place from January 3-7, 2022, at the Wanderers, Johannesburg; Third Test will take place from January 11-15, 2022, at the Newlands, Cape Town.

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