J'burg Test: Kohli misses out, KL Rahul takes charge in 2nd Test vs SA Photograph:( AFP )
India vs SA, 2nd Test: Virat Kohli has been ruled out of the Johannesburg Test due to upper back spasm as KL Rahul takes charge.
Team India have been dealt with a massive blow as regular captain Virat Kohli didn't walk out for the coin toss for the national side's second Test versus Dean Elgar-led South Africa, at The Wanderers, Johannesburg. On Monday (January 3), KL Rahul took the field as the India captain with Kohli out of the playing XI due to injury concerns.
Kohli, who was set to appear in his 99th Test, has been out of action due to upper back spasm. After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the stand-in captain Rahul told the broadcasters, "Unfortunately Virat has had an upper back spasm, the physios are working on him and hopefully he'll recover for the next Test. 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."
Rahul, who was named the vice-captain for the SA Tests in Rohit Sharma's absence, has already been named the Indian team skipper for the forthcoming three ODIs versus the Temba Bavuma-led Proteas, starting on January 19 at Paarl. Rahul will lead the side with Rohit ruled out due to hamstring issues. For now, the 29-year-old -- who was also the Player-of-the-Match in the Centurion Test, will be eager to guide the team to their first-ever Test series win on South African soil in his maiden outing as the skipper in the red-ball format.
India's XI in Kohli's absence is: KL Rahul(c), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Meanwhile, Elgar-led SA's playing XI is as follows: Dean Elgar(c), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne(w), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi
India are playing at their fortress, in Johannesburg, and will look to win the second Test and claim the series. Without Kohli, it will be a herculean task for the visitors.