New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced the playing XI for the first of the three-match Test series against South Africa which begins on Wednesday. Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha has replaced Rishabh Pant while Ravichandran Ashwin who was left out of the previous test against West Indies has been included in the squad.

As promised by selectors, Virat Kohli's deputy Rohit Sharma will open the innings for the first time in international Test cricket with Mayank Agarwal. The former will be eyeing to use this opportunity in the best possible manner after failing to score big in the recently concluded practice match and T20 internationals. The 32-year-old has been in and out of the Test despite heroics in white-ball cricket.

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"#TeamIndia for 1st Test of @Paytm Freedom Series for Gandhi-Mandela Trophy against South Africa--Virat Kohli (Capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Md Shami, #INDvSA," BCCI tweeted.

Ahead of the exciting cost, Kohli said it was hard to ignore the West Bengal-based wicketkeeper claiming him as the best keeper in the world.

Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant who was criticised for his lackluster performance in the recently concluded T20I was not included for the first fixture against Proteas.

Kohli has also confirmed that both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will feature in the playing eleven.

India had won its previous serious against West Indies 2-0. Skipper Virat has become the most successful Test captain during the tournament with 28 wins from 48 Tests, surpassing Dhoni's record of 27 wins in 60 matches.

Posted By: James Kuanal