The Indian Test skipper, Virat Kohli was spotted training in the nets ahead of the third and final Test against South Africa, and his comeback will result in Hanuma Vihari’s oust from the XI. Kohli had the second game due to an upper back spasm where the KL Rahul-led Indian camp suffered a seven-wicket defeat at Johannesburg. There were question marks over Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the starting eleven before he played a knock of 58 in the second innings at the Wanderers.
However, former India wicketkeeper, Saba Karim has also weighed in on India’s selection dilemma post Kohli’s return to the playing XI. Eyeing to win their first-ever series on the South African soil, India began the Test series with a win by 113 runs in Centurion before the hosts retaliated and levelled it 1-1 in the second game.
During a chat on India News, Saba Karim said, “The biggest question that will be posed is the team composition. Virat will have to decide with Rahul Dravid what the XI should be. The big question is, because Virat Kohli is coming back into the XI, whether you will leave out Ajinkya Rahane or Hanuma Vihari.”
India could also include Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav in the five-bowler attack if Mohammed Siraj becomes unavailable for the series decider. The Hyderabad pacer had incurred a hamstring injury during the second Test.
Former India all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi also spoke about the selection conundrum and said that Rahane would get a “lifeline” if he retains his place in the Playing XI. He said, “Rahane has also scored runs, where the form has been seen. So it will be a huge decision, and if Rahane plays, it could be a lifeline for him because somewhere or the other, he has been struggling. He will be able to cement his place once again if he wins the decider for the Indian team.”
Team India arrived at Cape Town on Saturday ahead of the third Test, scheduled to be played from January 11-15. Dravid had also hinted at Kohli’s return for the final game of the series after India succumbed to a seven-wicket defeat in the second Test.