Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh prayed that India captain Virat Kohli returns to the playing XI for the upcoming third Test against South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town and breaks his three-year-long century drought in international cricket.
Kohli had missed the second Test match at Johannesburg due to a stiff back and saw India losing the match by 7 wickets as South Africa levelled the three-Test series 1-1. However, the right-hander is back to full fitness and participated in the nets sessions as well as India prepares for the Cape Town challenge.
The Delhi-born batter has not scored a century in any of the international formats for three years now, as his last ton came against Bangladesh in a Test match in Kolkata in November 2019. After that, it has been a series of half-centuries and failures for the Indian captain, whose Test average is very close to going below 50.
It’s Been A Long Time Since We Have Seen A Hundred From Him: Harbhajan Singh On Virat Kohli
Harbhajan Singh is hopeful about Indian Test captain Virat Kohli scoring his 71st international hundred in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. The recently retired off-spinner, while previewing the series decider, said India should attempt for a “perfect match”. This, according to him, should see Kohli breaking his two-year-long international century dearth.
“Virat Kohli will return in this Test. I hope his century drought breaks in this match, it’s been a long time since we have seen a hundred from him. Hopefully, alongside him, Pujara, Rahane, and the other senior players will show their might once again. They have scored 50s but I’ll expect them to convert that into centuries.
“Once we put up 350-400 runs, and if we have two spinners playing there, which I am assuming because they should, then India can dominate completely. KL Rahul is in good form, Mayank is starting well but isn’t able to convert. I hope India will play this like the perfect match,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
Cape Town’s Newlands is touted to be among the best spinning conditions in South Africa and while India has gone in with only spin option in the first two Tests in Ravichandran Ashwin, the management might think of including a second tweaker. They have the option of bringing in Jayant Yadav, who can also bat and has a Test century to his name. Or, they can retain Hanuma Vihari and get him to bowl a few overs if needed.