The senior pros like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah marked their on-field return as the Indian cricket team took on South Africa in the first Test of te 2-match series in Centurion. However, as skipper Rohit Sharma announced the playing XI for the match, there was no mention of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur both found places in the team but Jadeja’s name was absent. It was then revealed that the left-arm spinner couldn’t feature in the XI because of an injury problem.

“Ravindra Jadeja complained of upper back spasms on the morning of the match. He was not available for selection for the first Test,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) revealed ahead of the start of the match.

India captain Rohit, at the time of toss, admitted that he wasn’t sure whether to bat first on the wicket or bowl first. Hence, was happy to have lost the toss.

“Wasn’t too sure (on batting or bowling). We are quite aware of the conditions, we have been here a few times. We need to put runs on the board and the bowlers will do the job for us. We do understand the challenge of batting first with the overhead conditions and the grass, but the guys are up for the challenge. Everytime we come here, we come with high hopes. We’ve come close in the last 2 tours. We are pretty confident with our squad and the make-up of our squad,” he said.

Speaking of his team’s composition, Rohit confirmed the absence of Jadeja due to back spasms.

“We are playing with four seamers and a spinner. Ashwin is playing in place of Jadeja. Jaddu had a bit of a back spasm, so Ashwin comes in and he is a quality spinner to have. Prasidh is making his debut, along with the other pacers Shardul, Siraj and Bumrah,” he said.

South Africa Playing XI:Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma(c), Keegan Petersen, David Bedingham, Kyle Verreynne(w), Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger

India Playing XI:Rohit Sharma(c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna

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