SA v IND 2021-22: Ishant Sharma, Virat Kohli to replace Siraj and Vihari in series-deciding third Test – Report

The third Test is due to be played in Cape Town from January 11.

Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma | GettyThere are a lot of speculations around injured India pacer Mohammed Siraj’s replacement for the third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town, starting January 11.

Earlier, reports had suggested that there would be a toss-up between Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. But the latest TOI report claims that Ishant would be preferred over Umesh for the series decider.

See Also: Rahul Dravid hints Vihari and Iyer will have to wait for regular chances till seniors are around

According to the report, the visitors are likely to opt for Ishant as the 105-Test veteran would give more control and can choke the runs. Even though Ishant’s pace has dropped in recent times, his tight lines will allow skipper Virat Kohli to attack from the other end.

Notably, Siraj pulled a hamstring muscle during the second Test in Johannesburg and managed to bowl only 15.5 overs in the game.

On the other hand, regular Test skipper Virat Kohli is also set to make a return to the side after recovering from the upper back spasm.

His return to the mix will give the team management a selection headache, with Hanuma Vihari doing well in the second Test. Playing in place of Kohli, Vihari scored 20 and 40* across the two innings in Johannesburg while under-fire batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane also scored crucial half-centuries in the match.

As per the same TOI report, Vihari is going to make way for the Indian captain, who will be featuring in his 99th Test at Newlands, Cape Town.

Team India suffered a seven-wicket defeat in the second Test at the Wanderers last week. Since the visitors had won the opening Test by 113 runs in Centurion, the three-match series is currently levelled at 1-1.


By Salman Anjum - 10 Jan, 2022

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