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Replacement of Mohammed Siraj is vital in decisive 3rd Test: India’s former fielding coach R Sridhar

Ahead of the decisive 3rd Test, former fielding coach R Sridhar exclusively spoke to SportsTiger.

Aakash Srivastava Author

Updated - 13 January 2022 4:08 pm

Virat Kohli & co. are very close to yet another remarkable feat, winning a Test series against South Africa on South African soil. On Tuesday, both the teams will lock horns in the third and final Test in Cape Town. The visitors will be determined to win their maiden Test series in South Africa whereas the hosts will leave no stone unturned to stop it from happening. However, Indian team will be relaxed with their regular red-ball skipper joining the party but must be worried over the replacement of Mohammed Siraj.

Ahead of the match, former fielding coach R Sridhar exclusively spoke to SportsTiger, and while talking he considered Kohli as an edge to the visitors and believes Siraj’s absence will be a vital factor. “Virat Kohli is more than just a player. His attitude and approach towards every game is remarkable and he alone possess an energy to put pressure on opponents,” he said. Adding further, Sridhar said that Kohli’s presence was a major miss in the second Test but the former coach denied the fact that Kohli’s absence was one of the reasons why team lost the match.

A team’s win or loss is never determined by the absence of a players, those who are not playing can only be missed. Since a players is out of playing XI, his contribution is minimal to the match results,” he said. According to Sridhar, the performance of number 3, 4 & 5  batsmen will be crucial for the team and can play a decisive factor. “Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (the batsman), and Ajinkya Rahane  will have to play a quality cricket if they want to be part of the team which scripts a historic feat. Also, the pitch can play a crucial role in the game and the third most important factor will be Siraj’s replacement,” Sridhar added.

Siraj is a go-to guy at any given situation: R Sridhar

As per Sridhar, Siraj is an integral part of the team, and a perfect bowler a team can have. “His attitude is idol for the team, and he is a go-to guy at any given situation. But as he is out due to injury, his replacement is something team must invest their time to,” he told SportsTiger. Earlier, Virat Kohli held a virtual press conference and informed that he is fit for the all-important third Test which provides India a golden opportunity to register their first-ever Test series victory on South African soil.

Kohli also confirmed that Mohammed Siraj, who had sustained a hamstring injury in the first innings of the previous Test, is not “match-ready.” However, commenting on the ongoing debate over the poor performance of veteran duo Ajinkaya Rahane-Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli highlighted that transitions do happen but “they happen naturally.”

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