Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar doesn’t see too many changes in India’s playing XI for the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town despite the team suffering a seven-wicket defeat in the Johannesburg Test earlier this week. Gavaskar pointed out two changes before highlighting the “only concern” for the team management ahead of the third Test.
Talking to Star Sports after the second Test, Gavaskar feels that while Hanuma Vihari will be missing out despite his valiant 40 in the second innings, in a bid to make way for returning Virat Kohli, who missed the match owing to an upper back spasm.
The veteran cricketer also expressed concern over Mohammed Siraj’s fitness as the pacer had incurred a hamstring injury during the Wanderers game. He feels that one between Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma will be brought it and the decision will be the management’s “only concern” ahead of the Cape Town decider.
“Apart from the injury aspect about Siraj I don’t se any changes in the XI. This was pretty much the same team that won the first Test match. Obviously when Kohli comes back Vihari will be the one to miss out. And if Siraj doesn’t recover or the team management doesn’t have enough confidence in him, because in a five-day Test match and on a day he is expected to deliver, but if he isn’t being able to bowl for 15-20 overs owing to the hamstring then they will have him replace. Whether it will be Umesh Yadav or Ishant Sharma, but that is going to be the only concern as far as the Indian team is concerned,” Gavaskar said.
The legendary batsman also backed Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane for the third Test after their gritty knocks in the second game against South Africa, opining that the team management should continue to show faith in the two senior players.
“Already the team has backed them owing to their experience and what they have done for India in the past. And they did come good. You have these exciting young players waiting in the wings whom we are all wanting to see but as long as these senior players are playing and playing well and not getting out badly them I think we should stick with them and faith in them.”
The third Test will begin from January 11 onwards.