Abhimanyu struck an unbeaten 61 on the second day of the practice game in Pretoria before he was retired by the team management. As things stand, Abhimanyu is likely to feature for India A in the second four-day match against South Africa A, also beginning on December 26, barring any last-minute changes. He will then link up with the national squad ahead of the New Year’s Test in Cape Town.
Iyer and Rahul will be returning to Test cricket after a prolonged absence. Both of them last featured for India during the Border-Gavaskar series at home against Australia in February. Rahul, who opened in the series, lost his place after the second Test. He missed the subsequent WTC final and the Caribbean tour because of a hamstring injury. He is likely to take over wicketkeeping duties for the Tests. Iyer, too, hasn’t played a first-class game since March, and has been on a steady diet of ODI cricket following his comeback from back surgery.
The upcoming series is India’s second assignment in the new WTC cycle for 2023-25. They won the first Test in the Caribbean and were denied an opportunity to win the second by rain.