It came as a shocker for everyone when regular India captain Virat Kohli didn’t come out for the toss against South Africa in the second Test at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday. Instead, it was KL Rahul, who came from the Indian side to flip the coin. (More Cricket News)
Before the imagination of fans and experts ran riot, stand-in skipper KL Rahul cleared the air on Virat Kohli's absence.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, KL Rahul informed Kohli is suffering from an upper back spasm and hence opted to sit out of the match.
Rahul added that Kohli is under the supervision of the physio and is likely to come back in the third and final game of the ongoing Test series in Cape Town.
“Unfortunately Virat has had an upper back spasm and hopefully he'll recover for the next Test,” said KL Rahul. Hanuma Vihari replaced Kohli. Jasprit Bumrah is the vice-captain in the Wanderers Test.
It is worth noting that KL Rahul is the 34th Indian captain in the format and is the first India to lead in Tests before doing the same in the limited-overs format. He had scored a sensational hundred in the first game against South Africa that India won by 113 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
“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. It was a good Test at Centurion overall. We really performed well as a team and are really excited about this match,” said KL Rahul.
In a statement on Monday, BCCI said Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of for seelction in the second Test due to a stomach bug.
On the other hand, South Africa included Kyle Verryenne into the playing XI following Quinton de Kock’s sudden retirement from Tests. Additionally, they replaced Wiaan Mulder with Duanne Olivier for the game.
When asked about his comments on Virat Kohli missing out the game, South African skipper Dean Elgar said: “It doesn't really bother me, we have got a Test match to play.”
India lead the three-match series 1-0. If they win in Johannesburg, this will be the first time India would have won a Test series in South Africa.