Before the SA series, there was a belief revolving around the Indian cricket fraternity, that the South African tour would be the last call for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, the veteran duos who have a forgettable couple of years barring a few innings. When India acquired the 13 run lead after bowling out SA in the first innings, there probably would have been an unspoken ultimatum for the batting lineup, especially to Pujara and Rahane, to seize the opportunity and be a part of the history that won the maiden test series in SA or wait for another four years. Unfortunately, India wasn’t able to win the game and will now have to wait for another four years for a chance to create the history.
Speaking to the Press conference, Kohli was asked about the future of Pujara and Rahane to which he replied “cannot comment about their future and that they have continued to back Cheteshwar and Rahane because of the kind of players they are and what they have done in Test cricket for India over the years, playing crucial knock in the second test, which got us to a total (240 runs) that we could fight for. So these are the kind of performances that we recognize as a team. What the selectors decide to do, I obviously cannot comment at this moment sitting here”
India will now play the ODI series against South Africa from 19th to 23rd of January. The T20s were also planned in the original schedule but were eliminated in the revised schedule due to the Omicron surge in South Africa.