The regular Team India Test captain, Virat Kohli will miss the second Test of the three-match Test series at Johannesburg against South Africa as he has had an upper back spasm which has ruled him out of the game. Stand-in captain KL Rahul has confirmed that.
However, Team India has decided to add Hanuma Vihari in place of injured Kohli. KL Rahul won the toss and opted to bat first. Notably, except for Kohli, India made no change in the playing XI but the Proteas made a few changes as Kyle Verreynne was included in place of Quinton de Kock who announced a sudden retirement from Tests after the first Test, whereas, Duanne Olivier came in for Wiaan Mulder as well.
South Africa Playing XI: Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi
India Playing XI: KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Toss Update – KL Rahul has won the toss and elects to bat first in the 2nd Test.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 3, 2022
Here is how Twitterati reacted:
If you are KL Rahul, you must think life is a roller-coaster…..
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 3, 2022
Centurion ➜ KL Rahul
Wanderers ➜ ❓
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 2, 2022
This is just a start of KL Rahul Era ❤
More to come. pic.twitter.com/NMobS8jqhx
— Shivani Shukla (@iShivani_Shukla) December 30, 2021
Oh dear Virat is not playing KL Rahul is the captain pic.twitter.com/S3KmLiGgCD
— India Fantasy (@india_fantasy) January 3, 2022
Soon-to- be ODI captain KL Rahul is now Test captain KL Rahul. And not long back, he wasn't sure of his place in the longest format. What a ride. pic.twitter.com/rlgdmXwLUG
— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) January 3, 2022
KL Rahul leading the test side. A lifetime moment for him.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) January 3, 2022
in august, injuries to two opening batters opened the door for KL Rahul to return to Test cricket after a two year gap. Less than half a year later, he is stepping in as captain! #SAvIND
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 3, 2022
Meanwhile, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has applauded Virat Kohli ahead of the third Test. He said that Kohli has ‘truly been a leader’ despite facing outside noise. Giving the credit to him for connecting with the team on and off the field so well, Dravid said that creating a ‘good space’ helps to keep the morale high as well.
Dravid said: “I know there’s been a lot of noise; there was a lot of noise on other issues outside the group even leading into this particular Test. But honestly, in terms of keeping the morale high, it has not been very difficult because it has been led by the skipper himself. Virat has truly been a leader, and I couldn’t speak highly about the way … he has connected with the group in the last two weeks, on and off the field. I felt we were in a really good space leading into the first Tes,t and a lot of that was led by Virat, and his leadership really came to the fore. It’s not been hard; it’s been a pleasure to work with someone like Virat; he’s been a phenomenal leader.”