Ahead of the decisive Cape Town Test Virat Kohli on Monday informed the media that he is absolutely fit and will lead in the 3rd Test against South Africa starting from January 11. On the other hand, Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj is ruled out of the upcoming Test due to his hamstring injury.
Earlier on Sunday, Kohli was seen to join the squad in the nets indicating his return to the team for the last Test match of the 3-Test series. Putting a stamp on the speculation, on the eve of the Cape Town Test, Kohli confirmed his recovery before the press. He also made public the news of Siraj’s absence from the match during the same press conference.
“I am absolutely fit, Siraj is recovering and at present, I don’t think he is match-ready. You cannot risk a guy who is not at 110% as a fast bowler. Siraj is not up to the mark but I am absolutely fit,” Kohli said.
The Test skipper was ruled out from the Johannesburg Test minutes ahead of Day 1 due to his back spasm. and KL was appointed as the replacement captain. India surely missed Kholi’s presence in the match as it ended up losing the match despite setting a target of 240 runs.
“Virat brings a different dynamic to the game. I don’t think I missed him. But I think potentially his team missed him, no doubt just from a captaincy point of view and maybe from a strategy point of view,” said SA captain Dean Elger on the eve of the 3rd Test.
Kohli, who has not scored a Test century in the last two years, also addressed the issue regarding his form in the press conference. He also mentioned that he felt guilty about not being able to play an important match like the Wanderer Test.
“It’s not the first time. Let’s not get away from reality too much. It happened a few times in my career. England 2014 was one of those phases. But I don’t look at myself from the lens that the outside world looks at me with. And eventually, the standards we are talking about today, that I’m being compared with, have been set by myself. So they are not an occurrence from outside. And more than anyone else, I take a lot of pride in wanting to do the best thing for the team that I can and want to perform regularly for the team,” the skipper said.
Meanwhile, Kohli did not mention the replacement of Siraj for the series decider. However, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are undoubtedly the forerunners to get picked for the playing XI.
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