3rd Test: Kohli, Umesh replace Vihari, Siraj as India bat vs SA at Newlands
- The 3-match series is currently level at 1-1
- India will be looking to secure its first-ever series win in South Africa
- South Africa have named an unchanged XI from the Johannesburg Test
Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Umesh Yadav replaced Hanuma Vihari and the injured Mohammed Siraj as India won the toss and elected to bat against South Africa in the decisive 3rd Test in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The Proteas bounced back from defeat in the first Test in Centurion to level the three-match series with a seven-wicket win in Johannesburg and set up a thrilling finale in Cape Town.
With Kohli, who missed the second Test with a back spasm, returning to the lineup, India will be aiming to secure its first-ever series win in the Rainbow Nation.
Speaking on his decision to bat first, Kohli reiterated that the team needs to put "runs on the board and then utilise the skills of our bowlers."
On the overcast conditions in Cape Town, Kohli said, "Can't control what is above your head, pitch has grass, we understand that."
He also said he was "gutted" over missing out on the second Test due to the back spasm, saying it happened "the morning of the previous game".
The 34-year-old confirmed the two changes to the lineup, saying that "it was a tough decision" between Ishant Sharma and Yadav for but said that the latter has been "bowling amazingly good".
Meanwhile, his South African counterpart Dean Elgar confirmed the hosts have made no changes to the eleven that inflicted India's first-ever loss at the Wanderers to level the series.
"Ideally you want to bat first on this surface and given the overhead conditions it might not be a bad idea to bowl first. The cricket we have been playing the last few months been very special given the number of players we lost," Elgar said.
South Africa: Dean Elgar (C), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne (WK), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi.
India: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.