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Virat Kohli gives an update on his availability for the third Test in Cape Town

By Daniel S

January 10, 2022

Indian Test skipper, Virat Kohli, who missed out the second Test match against South Africa in Johannesburg is all set for a return in the third. An upper back spasm ruled out the fiery batter from the clash at the Wanderers and the Proteas took full advantage of his absence by levelling the series 1-1. However, putting back smiles on the Indian faces, Kohli confirmed that he is ‘absolutely fit’ to take part in the series decider. He looked extremely comfortable in the nets playing his trademark front foot drives.

“I am absolutely fit,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.

Mohammed Siraj, who suffered an hamstring injury in Johannesburg, will not feature the third Test. Speaking about the same, Kohli said that the team doesn’t want to risk the 27-year-old considering the immense value he brings to the team.

“Siraj is obviously recovering from the (hamstring) niggle he had in the last game and at present, I don’t think he is match ready to take the field in the third Test.

“You cannot obviously risk a guy who is not at 110 percent as a fast bowler and we know how important that is as the little niggle he had can extend into an injury” Kohli said.

“Siraj is not up to the mark” he added.

While the question remains on who will fill the void left by Siraj, Kohli admitted that it’s a tough call to make keeping in mind the incredible bench strength of the current Indian side.

“As I said, we are yet to sit down, myself, the head coach and vice captain, to decide what we want to do about replacement” he said.

“And I say that because of our bench strength and it’s difficult for us to figure out as everyone is bowling well, batting well, these things become a point of contention and we need to have a healthy discussion on a decision on that and just that everyone feels balanced (okay) about it”.

“But I am happy being in this position sitting here trying to decide who is going to play rather than having other options” he concluded.

India took the early lead in the series by crushing the hosts by 113 runs at Centurion. South Africa came back with a sting in the second and registered a 7-wicket victory at Johannesburg. With the series evenly poised at 1-1, Cape Town is all set to witness a nail-biting Test match.