Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Credits: Twitter)

Rahul Dravid said that he is hopeful of seeing Virat Kohli return for the third and final Test against South Africa slated to be played in Cape Town from January 11-15.

Rahul Dravid’s remarks came after India stumbled to a seven-wicket loss in the second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. Virat Kohli had missed the second Test due to back spasms and in his place, KL Rahul stepped in to lead the side.

Virat Kohli is highly likely to be fit for 3rd Test. | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli is highly likely to be fit for 3rd Test. | Photo Credit: AP

Rahul Dravid: Virat Kohli Should Be Fine From All Accounts And Should Be Good To Go In 4 Day’s Time

If Virat Kohli comes back, it could mean that Hanuma Vihari, who was impressive with an unbeaten 40 in India’s second innings, could return to the bench. With India continuing to back their senior batters, the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer – who made a Test century on debut in November, but was out of contention with a stomach bug in Johannesburg – have had to bide their time for playing opportunities.

“Virat Kohli should be fine from all accounts, he should be fine. He has had the opportunity to run around a little bit, he has had the opportunity to test it a little bit. Hopefully, with a couple of net sessions in Cape Town, he should be good to go. Everything I am hearing and just having a chat with him, he should be good to go in four days’ time,” said Rahul Dravid during a virtual press conference.

When asked about his take on India’s batting performance in the series so far, Rahul Dravid said, “It has been challenging wickets for both the teams, South Africa’s fourth innings was probably their best with the bat. Yes, as a batting unit we can look to seize a few key moments and when we get partnerships, we can look to make them longer. It was challenging in the first innings but we could have gotten 55-60 runs more which could have made a huge difference.”

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

“Certainly, we would like to bat a little better. Maybe the guys who got starts could have converted them into 100s. That was the difference in the first game, we had Rahul scoring a century for us and we ended up on the winning side. Dean Elgar scored 96 in this Test and South Africa ended up on the winning side,” he added.

Dean Elgar played a captain’s knock scoring an unbeaten 96 to take the hosts to a 7-wicket win leveling the 3-match series 1-1 against India. After the rain interruption, the play finally started on the penultimate day of the Test match where South Africa resumed the day with an overnight score of 118/2.

Rahul Dravid Praised The Likes Of Hanuma Vihari And Shreyas Iyer

Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma comfortably took South Africa home with the captain fittingly scoring the winning runs as the hosts leveled the 3-match Test series 1-1.

“Hanuma Vihari played really well in both the innings. He batted beautifully in the second innings, Shreyas Iyer batted well for us in the past. The guys have to take heart from the fact that they are doing well when the opportunity is presenting itself. It happens, it is the nature of the sport and we can take confidence from the way Vihari batted in this game,” said Rahul Dravid.
Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
Dean Elgar file photo (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

“I would not say we were complacent in this game, we were in this game. We felt 240 in the final innings would not be easy to defend, but with a little bit of luck, we would have had a much better chance. It is something an area we can look to get better at, but I would not put it down to being complacent,” he added.

Shreyas Iyer was indeed the first choice to replace Virat Kohli, but since he too was unfit, Hanuma Vihari got a game. With Shreyas Iyer scoring a fabulous century on debut not too long ago, it was believed that he would be the first in line to replace the injured Virat Kohli in India’s Playing XI for the Johannesburg Test against South Africa, but the man taking the India captain’s place was Hanuma Vihari.

Virat Kohli’s return may mean Hanuma Vihari’s axe for the 3rd Test. If Mohammed Siraj is not fit, India has the required backup pacers in the experienced veteran pacers Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for the match, which starts on January 11.