KL Rahul has been dropped from India’s 15-member squad for their upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors put faith in Rohit Sharma. Youngster Shubman Gill received his maiden Test call-up and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad stated he can also act as a back-up opener to Rohit and Mayank Agarwal in the series against Proteas, which start from October 2 at Visakhapatanam.

Rahul has struggled for form in the longest form and the selectors’ patience finally ran out following the right-hander’s dismal performance in West Indies. Rahul managed to score just 664 runs in his last 30 Test innings and his only notable score was 149 against England at the Oval last year, coming in a dead fifth rubber.

Prasad stated that Rahul is a talented cricketer but because of his poor form in red-ball cricket, he has been dropped for the South Africa series. Moreover, the chief of selectors took the name of former India cricketer VVS Laxman and asked Rahul to follow his example in his bid to get back into the Test team.

“We definitely communicated to KL. He is an exceptional talent and unfortunately his form has dipped in red-ball cricket,” Prasad said during press-conference after selection meet in New Delhi. “With Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay gone, we can’t keep changing both the openers in the side.”