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BCCI hints towards return of Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma in playing XI for series-decider in Cape Town

Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj might make way for the two experienced campaigners in 3rd Test.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 9 January 2022 8:14 pm

Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma

As the ongoing Test series between India and South Africa is very interestingly poised at 1-1, the stage is set for the final showdown in Cape Town. The 3rd Test will be played from January 11 onwards at Newlands Cricket Ground and with so much at stake, there are a few concerns among Indian fans regarding the playing XI for the all-important clash.

Virat Kohli missed the previous match due to back spasm and India certainly missed his aggressive captaincy, especially on the final day in Johannesburg. Head coach Rahul Dravid had provided an injury update on the captain in a virtual press-conference a couple of days ago.

He said, “Virat Kohli should be fine from all accounts, he should be fine. He has had the opportunity to run around a little bit, he has had the opportunity to test it a little bit. Hopefully with a couple of net sessions in Cape Town, he should be good to go.”

Kohli captured batting in nets on Sunday

And as it turns out, Kohli is indeed back in the nets! BCCI shared the images from the first day of India’s training session in Cape Town where the team captain was seen sweating it out in nets. While the images certainly reveal that the 33-year-old will be back leading the side in 3rd Test, the fact that he was captured playing a cover-drive also proves that he won’t be shying away from playing his favourite shot at Newlands.

Ishant Sharma likely to replace injured Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj sustained hamstring injury in Johannesburg and looked in pain throughout the match. India would not want to take a risk in the final match which is why the right-arm pacer might miss out from the playing XI.

Although the visitors have two able replacements within their ranks, the pics from India’s practice session on Sunday hints that Ishant Sharma might get a nod ahead of Umesh Yadav. Ishant is India’s most experienced bowler with 311 wickets in 105 Tests to his name and his height and extra pace might give India slight edge in Cape Town.

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