SA vs IND: Reason why Virat Kohli isn’t a part of the Johannesburg Test against South Africa

SA vs IND: Reason why Virat Kohli isn’t a part of the Johannesburg Test against South Africa

Hanuma Vihari has replaced Kohli in the playing XI at the Wanderers.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Team India Test skipper Virat Kohli has been ruled out of the second Test against South Africa due to an upper back spasm. KL Rahul, who’s India’s stand-in skipper for the game at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, put forth the development during the toss on Monday.

The 33-year-old Kohli is currently under the observation of the medical staff and will fight against time to get fit for the third Test, starting January 11 at Newlands in Cape Town. The visitors, in the meantime, have roped in Hanuma Vihari as Kohli’s replacement.

Vihari hasn’t played a Test since India’s victorious run in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy. Prior to the second Test, Rahul expressed gratitude after being able to lead the team at the highest level and also talked about the players’ positive frame of mind after the win in Centurion.

“Unfortunately, Virat has had an upper back spasm, the physios are working on him and hopefully he’ll recover for the next Test. It is every Indian player’s dream to captain his country. Really honoured and looking forward to this challenge,” Rahul was quoted as saying.

“We have had a few good wins here and hopefully we’ll look to continue that. Hanuma Vihari comes in place of Virat. Just the one change. It was a good Test at Centurion overall. We really performed well as a team and are really excited about this match,” he added.

Dean Elgar not ‘bothered’ after Virat Kohli misses out

Proteas skipper Dean Elgar didn’t seem much fussed about Kohli’s unavailability for the encounter. “Doesn’t really bother me [who is the captain],” Elgar said. The hosts have made two changes for the game in a bid to make a comeback after the heavy 113-run loss at the SuperSport Park.

Even as Duanne Olivier has replaced Wiaan Mulder, Kyle Verryenne has been drafted in to replace Quinton de Kock, who earlier announced his retirement from Test cricket. Elgar also admitted that South Africa will miss the services of De Kock.

“Losing Quinny is never ideal. He has been a big player for us. Losing any big player is never ideal. But we need to move on. We have a lot of talent in our squad and we need to back them,” Elgar added.