'I am absolutely fit' : Virat Kohli ahead of Newlands Test vs South Africa
- Virat Kohli said he is "completely fit" to play the third Test
- He added that the team will not risk playing Siraj as he is not 110% fit
- Siraj suffered a hamstring injury during the second match that Kohli missed due to a sudden back spasm
Virat Kohli, India's captain, stated on Monday that he will return to the team for the series-deciding third Test against South Africa because he is "completely fit," but that bowler Mohammed Siraj will not play.
Kohli had nets with the rest of the team at Newlands on Sunday after missing the second Test due to an upper back spasm. He batted without flinching and lunged forward to play the drives.
At the pre-match press conference, Kohli stated, "I am absolutely fit."
However, he added that Siraj will not feature in the game after he suffered a hamstring injury in Johannesburg, where India lost by seven wickets.
"Siraj is obviously recovering from the (hamstring) niggle he had in the last game and at present, I don't think he is match-ready to take the field in the third Test.
"You cannot obviously risk a guy who is not at 110 per cent as a fast bowler and we know how important that is as the little niggle he had can extend into an injury," the skipper said.
However, the skipper did not say whether Ishant Sharma will get the nod ahead of Umesh Yadav.
"As I said, we are yet to sit down, myself, the head coach and vice-captain to decide what we want to do about replacement," he said.
"And I say that because of our bench strength and it's difficult for us to figure out as everyone is bowling well, batting well, these things become a point of contention and we need to have a healthy discussion on a decision on that and just that everyone feels balanced (okay) about it," he explained.
"But I am happy being in this position sitting here trying to decide who is going to play rather than having other options." Team India will look to bounce back in the third and final Test of the series, which is scheduled to begin here Tuesday.
The third and final Test of the series, which begins here on Tuesday, will be a chance for Team India to redeem itself.
India began their visit of South Africa with a bang, beating the hosts by 113 runs in the series opener in Centurion.
The Proteas, on the other hand, won the second game to tie the three-match series at 1-1.