Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes that Hanuma Vihari will be dropped from the playing XI in the third Test match against South Africa with the return of red-ball skipper Virat Kohli to the team.
Indian red-ball captain Virat Kohli missed out on the second Test of the three-match Test series against South Africa due to upper back spasm and KL Rahul was given the responsibility to lead the team and Vihari was included in the XI.
Meanwhile, India lost the match by 7 wickets and now the series is levelled at 1-1. The series decider will be played from January 11-15, at the Newlands, Cape Town.
Talking to Star Sports after the second Test, Gavaskar expressed concern over the fitness of pacer Mohammed Siraj who suffered a hamstring injury during the Wanderers Test. He added that Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav might be included in the team and the decision to select a pacer will be a concern for the team management.
“Apart from the injury aspect about Siraj, I don’t see any changes in the XI. This was pretty much the same team that won the first Test match. Obviously, when Kohli comes back Vihari will be the one to miss out.
“And if Siraj doesn’t recover or the team management doesn’t have enough confidence in him, because in a five-day Test match and on a day he is expected to deliver, but if he isn’t being able to bowl for 15-20 overs owing to the hamstring then they will have him replace.
“Whether it will be Umesh Yadav or Ishant Sharma, but that is going to be the only concern as far as the Indian team is concerned,” Gavaskar said.
I Think We Should Stick With Them – Sunil Gavaskar On Ajinkya Rahane And Cheteshwar Pujara
Legendary Indian batsman Gavaskar also backed the inclusion of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI in the third Test after their good performance in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test.
“Already the team has backed them owing to their experience and what they have done for India in the past. And they did come good. You have these exciting young players waiting in the wings whom we are all wanting to see but as long as these senior players are playing and playing well and not getting out badly them I think we should stick with them and faith in them,” Gavaskar added.
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