Ajinkya Rahane (left) and Cheteshwar Pujara have been great servants of Indian cricket, but they should read the writing on the wall now. Image Credit: AFP

Cape Town: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will be dropped from the team for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka and two spots will be up for grabs in the playing XI.

Following the completion of the South Africa Tests, Virat Kohli led India will play the longer format of the game in February end against Sri Lanka.

The experienced campaigners - Pujara and Rahane, who had an ordinary performance in the ongoing Tests against Proteas, could be dropped for the Sri Lanka series and the likes of Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari can get a long rope in the middle order.

"I think that not just Ajinkya Rahane (will be out of the team). Shreyas Iyer got an opportunity in the Test series against New Zealand and he scored a well-crafted century. He scored decent runs throughout the series, so I believe there will be two vacant places in the XI," Gavaskar said on air during Day 3 of the 3rd Test in Cape Town.

"I think both Pujara and Rahane will be dropped from the team for the Sri Lanka series. Iyer and Vihari will both play. We'll have to see who plays at no.3. Hanuma Vihari may take Pujara's place and Shreyas Iyer could be no.5 in place of Rahane, but we will have to see. Nevertheless, I think there will certainly be two spots up for grabs against Sri Lanka," he added.