Test skipper Virat Kohli will roar back in the series decider and help India secure their maiden red-ball series win in South Africa, feels the prolific batter’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma. The 33-year-old Kohli had missed the second Test due to back spasms but is all set to return for the decider.
As the focus shifts to Cape Town for the third and final Test of the series, Kohli, playing his 99th match in the longest format, will be looking to be among runs and end his two-year century drought. The right-handed dasher has an average of only 26.08 in 14 Test since the start of 2020, which is well below his career mark of 50.34.
But Kohli’s childhood coach is confident of him playing a key role in India’s maiden Test series win in the Rainbow nation. His return will be a big boost to the Indian middle-order too, which has been plagued with the inconsistency factor lately.
“He will bounce back with good performance. India’s batting order revolves around Virat,” Rajkumar told ANI on Virat’s return and also highlighted what he brings to the table.
“India will definitely win the third Test and will secure a maiden series win, as we are in good form. However, we lost the second Test but there were opportunities there and some mistakes were made but I have full faith that skipper and coach Rahul Dravid will not repeat those mistakes.
“With Virat coming back, there will be an effect on the middle-order as he absorbs a lot of pressure. In our bowling, Siraj’s fitness will be a key factor. If he will not play then who will play in place of him, Umesh or Ishant, that will be interesting to see,” he further said.
India won the Test series opener in Centurion before Dean Elgar’s men clawed back to win the second Test and level the series 1-1. Hanuma Vihari was given a chance instead of Kohli at Johannesburg but he could be returning back to the bench on Kohli’s return.
The final Test of the three-match series will be played at the Newlands in Cape Town, which remains one of South Africa’s most successful venues in the format. The Proteas side has played most number of Tests at the this venue, with their maiden appearance back in 1889, and recorded most number of wins as well.