The three-match Test series between South Africa and India is nicely set up with the decider to be played in Cape Town from January 11 (Tuesday). The momentum is with the home side following their epic chase of 240 runs at the Wanderers which also broke India’s streak of not losing any of the five game at the venue until now. India were also hit by an injury to skipper Virat Kohli ahead of the second Test with Hanuma Vihari replacing him.
But Mohammed Siraj clutching his hamstring during the first innings, in a way, played a decisive role in the end with the bowler not 100% for the rest of the Test. However, the Indian fans will get to see Kohli back in action as he seems to have recovered from upper back spasm. He batted in the nets as well two days ahead of the deciding Test.
According to a report in the Times of India, Virat Kohli is set to replace Vihari despite the latter’s impressive 40* in the second innings which helped the visitors stretch the lead to 239 runs. Talking about the lack of chances for the likes of Vihari and Shreyas Iyer, even the head coach Rahul Dravid had said that the duo ‘will have to wait for their chances.’
Meanwhile, the report also stated that the lanky pacer Ishant Sharma might replace Siraj given the former’s ability to control the run-flow with his tight lines. His experience of over 100 Tests could be preferred and moreover, his bowling will allow skipper Virat Kohli to attack from the other end as well.
Umesh Yadav is the only other pacer in the squad for this series and even he has impressed whenever he has got an opportunity. Umesh last played in Mumbai against New Zealand in December 2021 but sent down only 10 wicketless overs given spinners’ domination. Having said that, the pacer from Vidarbha did well in the previous away Test he played at The Oval against England.