It wasn’t quite quantum physics, but we did tell you so.
Suresh Raina’s problems with pace are well-known. We had pointed out before the Test series that he could make way for Che Pujara.
Reports say this is likely to happen in Durban, where the high-stakes Boxing Day Test will be played.
In this space, we had also argued that there’s a case for resting Rahul Dravid in the New Zealand series to allow Pujara a longer (and much-deserved) look-in. This didn’t happen.
For whatever this Durban opportunity would be worth, we think it is terribly unfair to shove Pujara into the mix so late, given India are 1-0 down heading to a venue that holds horrors of pace and bounce.
Do you remember 1996? Allan Donald had the same effect on India as a bulldozer has on an orange in its path.
In 2006, South Africa played four pacers and Andrew Hall. Another massive defeat resulted. Both times, India’s bowlers outperformed their batsmen.
One wonders if South Africa would leave Paul Harris out of their mix for Durban. Initial reports suggest it will be a hard, bouncy wicket and overcast conditions would help pacers.
Scores of 3, 0, 20, 3, 1 and 5 and his struggles with footwork and technique would mean Raina has to try harder to cement his place in the Test side.
Pujara did well in his only Test, making 72 to help India chase down 220-odd in Bangalore against Australia. But he will be coming in the most difficult of situations.
Will he succeed?