After the cliffhanger at the MCG, where Virat Kohli’s magnum opus got India over the line against archrivals Pakistan, the Rohit Sharma-led side mauled the Netherlands at the SCG on October 27. The Men in Blue will now face the Proteas in Perth on October 30 and hope to win and advance to the semi-finals.

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However, despite the two victories, there appear to be chinks in the armour, one of which is opener KL Rahul. He only managed four runs against Pakistan and scored nine in the second match against Netherlands. So, should India change anything for the upcoming game against South Africa? There is speculation that the team management intends to play Rishabh Pant as an opener. While the ideas are being discussed, here are reasons why India may keep Rahul as the opener, despite his failures.

It’s not ideal to change a winning combination. Cricket is a team sport, and success is determined by the performance of the entire XI.  How many changes did MS Dhoni make to his playing XI during an ICC event? Rarely! Rohit will definitely keep that in the back of his mind because it worked for him. A change is therefore unlikely. Further, Vikram Rathour, the team’s batting coach, dismissed the possibility of Pant replacing Rahul as Sharma’s opening partner in the match against the Proteas. Rahul will open, Rathour said, and the team supports him. Rathour said of Pant that the southpaw has been instructed to be prepared for any opportunity that may present itself.

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Probable Playing XI

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi