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Will Ajinkya Rahane be part of playing XI against South Africa? Gautam Gambhir says THIS

Many expected Ajinkya Rahane to be dropped from the Test team, however, he still managed to hold on to his place for the South Africa tour.

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After being criticised for his form, Ajinkya Rahane even went on to lose his role as the Indian Test team's vice-captain. The BCCI had announced that ODI and T20I skipper Rohit Sharma will be the Test team's vice-captain.

While many expected the veteran Indian batter would be dropped from the Test team, he still managed to hold on to his place for the upcoming tour of South Africa. However, the main question now arises is will he be able to make a spot for himself in the playing XI.

With Shreyas Iyer in form, Virat Kohli returning to the squad and Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal also in the squad, it will be a little difficult for the ex-vice captain to make a place for himself.

Talking about the same, former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir also believes Rahane will find it difficult to make a place in the initial line-up. "Tough, that is what I can say because he is not a starter, to be honest. I feel Ajinkya Rahane will find it difficult to get a place in the playing XI," Gambhir said during an interaction on the Star Sports show Follow the Blues. 

The southpaw also asserted that Rahane would not be prefered over the in-form duo of Iyer and Vihari. "You have got Shreyas Iyer; it will be very difficult for India or the captain to drop him because of his recent performances. At the same time, Hanuma Vihari has done really well as well," he explained further. 

Even Team India's former batting coach Sanjay Bangar said that Rahane's selection was certain as he has done well in the past, but believes the veteran's inclusion in the playing XI is not absolutely certain.

"Ajinkya Rahane has got a place for the South Africa tour, and he should have got picked as well because you will definitely need experience there. Whether he gets to play in the first Test match is a question mark and the first match that is played before the Test match is going to be critical," he added.

As for India's tour to South Africa, Kohli's side will head to South Africa for three Tests and three ODIs, beginning December 26.

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