New Delhi: After leading India to a record Test series win in Sri Lanka earlier this year, Virat Kohli would be excited to make his debut as the captain in whites on Indian soil in the upcoming four-match series against South Africa.
It would also be an opportunity for Kohli to show his leadership skills after the Men in Blue suffered back-to-back losses in the T20 series as well as ODIs under MS Dhoni's captaincy.
However, the selectors and the skipper himself have a tough task at hand, which is to select the perfect XI against the Saffers.
While Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are all set to open the innings, it remains to be see who will be their first choice between Lokesh Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara. While the latter has won the praise of experts time and again, he wasn't the think tank's first choice when India toured Lanka earlier this year. But even though Lokesh Rahul has scored two tons in his short career, selectors should opt for Pujara, who has been a run-machine in the longest format of the game.
The selectors have some headaches in the bowling department as well. While Jadeja was recalled into the Test squad after a terrific Ranji season, it is yet not sure whether he would appear in the playing XI and it depends on whether selectors will be willing to go with three or two spinners.
But considering Jadeja's prolific show on Indian pitches in the past, he should play the first Test against South Africa.
Here is a possible XI we suggest for the 1st Test:
Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav