Kohli out of Wanderers Test due back injury; Rahul to lead for first time

Due to an upper back spasm, India skipper Virat Kohli has been ruled out of the Johannesburg Test against South Africa. As a consequence, KL Rahul will be the first Indian captain.

“He will not play in the second Test against South Africa, which will be held at The Wanderers. During this Test match, the BCCI medical staff will keep an eye on him “According to a BCCI press statement. Kohli has been replaced in the XI by Hanuma Vihari, with fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah chosen vice-captain and Shreyas Iyer missing out due to a stomach ailment.

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has appointed Jasprit Bumrah as vice-captain for the second Test,” the BCCI said in a statement, adding that “Team India batsman Shreyas Iyer has also been ruled out of selection for the second Test due to a stomach virus.”

Rahul was selected as Kohli’s deputy for this trip after Ajinkya Rahane was fired as India’s vice-captain before the tour and Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. After Rohit’s promotion to captain, Rahul was chosen vice-skipper of the limited-overs team. In reality, Rahul will captain India in the next One-Day International series against South Africa, while Rohit is still recovering from his injury, and Bumrah has been picked as his deputy for the three games.

When Rahul and Dean Elgar arrived at the Wanderers for the toss, everyone was taken aback. Kohli would have played his 100th match in Cape Town, which would have been his 99th Test.

As things stand, Kohli will play Test No. 100 for India in the home series against Sri Lanka in February if he returns for the third Test. India leads the three-match series 1-0 after a 113-run victory in the first Test in Centurion, where Rahul struck a century in the first innings to set the tone for the contest.

South Africa, on the other hand, is missing Quinton de Kock, who announced his retirement from Test cricket only a few weeks ago. At the Wanderers, Kyle Verreynne has taken his place in the starting XI. Wiaan Mulder has also been dropped, making way for Duanne Olivier, who is making his first Proteas appearance since February 2019.