India head coach Rahul Dravid has stated that Virat Kohli is likely to return for the series decider against South Africa in Cape Town. The India Test captain missed the Johannesburg Test due to an upper back spasm, and KL Rahul led the side in the second fixture of the three-match series.
Team India suffered a harrowing seven-wicket defeat against South Africa in the second Test of the three-match series in Centurion. KL Rahul, who was appointed as the stand-in vice-captain for the Test series was elevated as skipper for the Johannesburg Test in the absence of Virat Kohli. The regular Test captain of Team India sustained an upper back spasm ahead of the second game, and was eventually ruled out from the fixture.
Meanwhile, India head coach, Rahul Dravid reckoned that Virat Kohli is likely to return for the Cape Town Test.
"From all accounts, he should be fine. He's had the opportunity to run around a little bit, he's had the opportunity to test it a little bit, I'll be down only now at the moment in the nets with a few throwdowns and stuff, so hopefully with a few net sessions in Cape Town, he should be good to go," Dravid said at the press conference.
"I haven't had a detailed discussion with the physio as yet, but from everything I'm hearing and from just having a chat with him, he's really improving and should be good to go in four days' time," Dravid added.
Hanuma Vihar replaced injured Virat Kohli in India playing XI for the Johannesburg Test, and the right-hand batsman scored crucial knocks of 20 and 40 not out in the first and second innings of the match. With Kohli returning for the Cape Town Test, Vihari’s chances of playing the series decider is doubtful.
However, Dravid heaped praise on Vihari for his crucial knocks in both innings of the Johannesburg Test.
"Firstly I think Vihari played really well in this Test match, in both innings in fact. I think in the first innings he got a nasty one, unfortunately for him it popped up and the fielder got his fingertips to it and took a really good catch, and he batted beautifully in the second innings, so that gives us a lot of confidence," the India head coach said.
India have another injury concern while heading to the series decider in Cape Town. Mohammed Siraj, who displayed a brilliant performance in the first fixture of the series could bowl only 15.5 overs in the second Test match due to hamstring trouble. Reflecting on the pacer's fitness, Dravid stated that the medical will be monitoring Siraj for the next couple of days.
"Siraj, we'll have to monitor him over the next couple of days. He's been feeling better with each day, he's starting to get more and more confident with his bowling, especially with what happened on the field with his hamstring, it's not easy to come back from that and go 100% straightaway," Dravid added.
The final Test of the three-match series will be played from January 11 to 15 in Cape Town.