Hanuma Vihari not playing: India have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI for what could end up as a historic Test match.
During the first day of the third Test of India’s tour of South Africa in Cape Town, India captain Virat Kohli has won the toss and chose to bat in a series-decider.
“You cannot control what’s above your head [cloud cover]. Runs on this venue have always worked out well at this venue. We are expected to win every Test we play overseas and that fourth innings chase from South Africa was a special one from them. It is a beautiful stadium and we are very excited,” Kohli told SuperSport at the toss.
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Much like Kohli, South Africa captain Dean Elgar also wanted to field first. Leading from the front in a 7-wicket victory in Johannesburg, Elgar confirmed making no change to their Playing XI for this match.
“The one good thing about having younger guys is they don’t come with scars. Guys like me have a bit of old-school mentality which we try to balance and implement that with what we have in the change room. We’re unchanged, what we’ve done in the last Test, got to give players credit in terms of balance and stability,” Elgar told SuperSport at the toss.
Why is Hanuma Vihari not playing vs South Africa?
India, on the other hand, have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI. Despite scoring a vital 40* (84) in the previous match, batter Hanuma Vihari has had to make way for Kohli. The development means that the visitors have provided senior duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane with another opportunity at the highest level.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav has also returned to the Playing XI after missing the first two Tests as a replacement for injured Mohammed Siraj.
“I am fit and fine. I come in for [Hanuma] Vihari. [Mohammed] Siraj missed out because of a niggle and Umesh [Yadav] comes in for him. Umesh has been very potent with the ball recently, very handy in the field and with the bat as well. It was a tough decision to choose between the two [Yadav and Ishant Sharma],” Kohli added.
It is worth mentioning that this will be Yadav’s first-ever Test match in South Africa. In five home Tests against the Proteas, Yadav has picked 16 wickets at an average and strike rate of 12.12 and 30.3 respectively. In 51 Tests for India, Yadav’s 156 wickets have come at an average and strike rate of 30.55 and 51.8 respectively.