SA vs IND – 2nd Test Johannesburg

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Question marks remain over Siraj’s availability to the decision maker after he got a hoarding niggle at Wanderers

The regular India Test captain, Virat Kohli, who missed the second Johannesburg Test with back spasms, should be back for the decision in Cape Town with the series draw 1-1.
“Virat is already feeling better, he has been in the nets the last few days and he has fielded and run around the pitch,” stand-in captain KL Rahul said after India’s seven-wicket loss on the fourth day. “I think he should be fine.”
Later, at the press conference, head coach Rahul Dravid spoke on similar lines. “In any case, he should be fine,” Dravid said. “He’s had a chance to run around a bit, he’s had a chance to test it a bit, I’m only down right now in the nets with a couple of throws and stuff like that, so hopefully with a couple of net sessions in Cape Town, he should be good at walking.

“I have not had a detailed discussion with the physiotherapist yet, but from everything I hear and from just having a talk with him, he is really recovering and should be ready to go in four days.”

If Kohli comes back, it could mean Hanuma Vihari, who impressed with an unbeaten 40 in India’s second half, could return to the bench. With India continuing to support their senior players, people like Vihari and Shreya Iyer – who made a Test century debut in November but were out of contention with a stomach ache in Johannesburg – have had to interrupt their time playing opportunities.

Dravid was full of praise for Vihari – and even mentioned his first-innings contribution as he made a solid start before being caught on short legs from a steep lift – but said young players have always had to wait on their turn in international cricket.

“First of all, I think Vihari played really well in this test match, actually in both innings,” Dravid said. “I think he got an ugly one at first, unfortunately for him it turned up and the fielder got his fingertips to it and took a really good catch and he hit beautifully in the second half so it gives us a lot of confidence.

“Shreyas have also done it two or three Test matches ago, he has also got races and I think they just have to take heart from the fact that when they get the opportunities, they do well, and hopefully their time You look back on some of our guys who are now considered senior players, they also had to wait.

“They also had to score many races they’ve had, at the start of their careers, it’s probably also been a bit of a stop-start. So it happens. It’s just the nature of the sport, it’s the nature of the game, and it will happen. , so I think they can take courage [from their performances] and we can take a lot of confidence from the way Vihari beat in this match, he played really well, it should give him a lot of confidence and it definitely gives us a lot of confidence. “

Prior to the third test, there is still a question mark over pacer Mohammed Siraj, who went down in this test with hoarding problems and could only throw 15.5 overs out of the 147.2 India sent down. “Siraj, we’ll have to monitor him over the next few days,” Rahul said. “He’s been getting better every day, he’s starting to get more and more confident with his bowling, especially with what happened on the court with his buttocks, it’s not easy to get back from it and go 100% with it. same.”

If Siraj is not in form, India have back-up in the experienced Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for the match starting on January 11th.

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