SA vs India: Mohammed Siraj ruled out of third Test
Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj has been ruled out of the third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town, starting January 11. Skipper Virat Kohli, on Monday, told ANI that the former is not match-ready at the moment. He stated that the management can not risk playing him. Siraj suffered a hamstring injury on Day 1 of the 2nd Test at the Wanderers.
Why does this story matter?
- Siraj has been India's third seamer besides Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in Tests lately.
- He was instrumental in India's success on the UK tour.
- Siraj rose to prominence in the 2020/21 Border Gavaskar series that India won 2-1.
- The Indian fast bowler sustained a hamstring injury on Day 1 of the Johannesburg Test.
- Although Siraj bowled in the second innings, he looked off-color.
How did Siraj get injured?
India suffered a blow in the final session on Day 1 of the Johannesburg Test. Siraj walked off the field after delivering the fifth ball of his fourth over. He stopped right before releasing the ball and seemed to be in trouble with a hamstring issue. Although Siraj returned to bowl, he delivered only 10 more overs in the match.
Siraj has 36 wickets from 12 Tests
Siraj made his Test debut in December 2020 in the Boxing Day Test. He took five wickets in that match. As of now, Siraj has picked up 36 wickets from 12 Tests at an average of 29.63. His only five-for came in Brisbane (5/73).
Who will replace Siraj?
Either Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav will replace Siraj in Cape Town. Skipper Kohli informed that the management is yet to take a call. "We are yet to decide Siraj's replacement for the third Test. I will have a discussion with the coach and vice-captain. But I'm glad to be in this position where there are so many choices at our disposal," he said.
'I am absolutely fit', says Kohli ahead of final Test
Captain Kohli also cleared the air regarding his own fitness, stating he is "absolutely fit". Kohli is all set to feature in his 99th Test after missing out in Johannesburg. He could become the first-ever Indian skipper to win a Test series in South Africa. If India win the third Test, he will equal Steve Waugh in terms of Test wins as captain (41).
SA vs India: Three-match series leveled at 1-1
India registered their fourth-ever win in South Africa after winning the first Test in Centurion. The visitors won by 113 runs. The Proteas bounced back, claiming an emphatic win in Johannesburg. Dean Elgar led from the front as SA chased down 240 on a tricky surface. Both teams will be all guns blazing in Cape Town as the series remains leveled at 1-1.