File pic of Virat Kohli.© AFP
India suffered a massive setback just ahead of the toss for the second Test against South Africa as captain Virat Kohli was ruled out due to an upper back spasm. Opening batter KL Rahul is leading the team in Kohli’s absence with India aiming to win their first-ever Test series on South African soil. Right-hander Hanuma Vihari, who was part of the India A squad for the South Africa tour, has come in as replacement for Kohli in the playing XI. Apart from that there are no other changes in the Indian team from the first Test.
“Unfortunately Virat has had an upper back spasm, the physios are working on him and hopefully he’ll recover for the next Test,” KL Rahul said at the toss.
The opening batter said that he was “really honoured” and looking forward to captaining the side.
“It is every Indian player’s dream to captain his country. Really honoured and looking forward to this challenge. 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.”
India had won the opening Test in emphatic fashion, beating the hosts by 113 runs at the SuperSport Park in Centurion to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
If India win the second Test in Johannesburg, they will take an unbeatable 2-0 lead, thereby clinching their first-ever series win in South Africa.
In a media release, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah had been appointed vice-captain for the second Test.
“The BCCI medical team will be monitoring him during the course of this Test match. KL Rahul will captain the side in his absence. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Jasprit Bumrah as vice-captain for the 2nd Test,” the BCCI release said.
The BCCI also revealed that Shreyas Iyer was not in contention for selection for the playing XI due to a stomach bug.
“Team India batsman Shreyas Iyer was also ruled out of selection for the 2nd Test owing to a stomach bug.”
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