Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma to replace Vihari and Siraj for the the third test at Cape Town – Reports

The three test match series between India and South Africa will see its climax at Cape Town, as the tie will also decide the ultimate winner of a contest that not many people thought, would need a tie-breaker. 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. The major talking point was the exclusion of skipper Virat Kohli, owing to a back spasm during training.

The match saw the Proteas take a well-deserved win, and to make things worse for the Indian contingent, one of their better bowlers, Mohammad Siraj, was seen clutching his hamstring towards the end of the game, ringing alarm bells in the management as they most likely will have to look for a replacement.

However, it seems that the dark clouds are dissipating as reports have come out of Cape Town that Virat Kohli has been training with the squad, indicating that he has recovered from the upper back spasm. This further indicates that the skipper will be back into the lineup, replacing Hanuma Vihari, who failed to capitalize on his rare chance in the second test.

Replacements being mulled for Siraj

Siraj’s condition will be monitored, but it seems more and more likely that Ishant Sharma will be told to step in to fill Siraj’s spot on the team for the decider.

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.