Cricket-India win toss and bat but are without skipper Kohli


  • Cricket
  • Monday, 03 Jan 2022

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - First Test - South Africa v India - SuperSport Park Cricket Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa - December 29, 2021 India's KL Rahul in action REUTERS/Rogan Ward

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - India stand-in captain KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bat on the opening day of the second test against South Africa at the Wanderers on Monday, looking to take advantage of a wicket expected to initially favour the batsmen.

Rahul captains the side in place of Virat Kohli, who has suffered an upper back spasm and sits out in a surprise setback for the tourists.

“It’s a dream to captain your country, so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Rahul, who was one of the top performers in India’s 113-run victory in last week’s first test at Pretoria.

“We’ve had a few good wins here at the Wanderers and will want to continue that,” he added. India are unbeaten in five previous tests at the Wanderers, with two victories and three draws.

Kohli is replaced by the 28-year-old Hanuma Vihari in India’s only change. Vihari is expected to bat at No. 5 in his 13th test but first since playing against Australia in Sydney one year ago.

Hosts South Africa are without wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who announced his retirement from test cricket immediately after the loss to India in the first test.

De Kock, 29, was scheduled to miss the last two test of the three-match series anyway because of the imminent birth of his first child.

Kyle Verreyne replaces De Kock while Duanne Olivier has been picked over Wiaan Mulder in the other change for the home side.

The 29-year-old Olivier exploded on to the test scene in 2017 and took 48 wickets in 10 tests at an average below 20, but then took up a Kolpak contract with English county Yorkshire that meant he was lost to South African cricket.

But after returning home when the Kolpak system fell away due to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, Olivier finished the top wicket-taker in the domestic four-day competition and has won back a test place.

Teams:

South Africa: Dean Elgar (capt.), Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreyne, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi

India: KL Rahul (capt.), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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