IND vs SA, 3rd Test: Mohammed Siraj Not ‘Match-ready’, Ruled Out of Series Decider


India have been suffered a blow ahead of the series-deciding third Test against South Africa in Newlands with fast bowler Mohammed Siraj deemed not match-ready and hence ruled out. Siraj had picked up a hamstring injury during the first day of the second Test in Johannesburg and didn’t bowl at full tilt afterwards.

India captain Virat Kohli though has said he’s fully fit after having missed the 2nd Test himself due to a back spasm but confirmed the team will be without Siraj.

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“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,” Kohli said during a media interaction on eve of the third Test.

“Siraj is not up to the mark,” he added.

However, Kohli said the team management is yet to decide who will replace Siraj in the playing XI.  “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. But I am happy being in this position sitting here trying to decide who is going to play rather than having other options,” he added.

The three-match series is currently level at one-all after South Africa bounced back with a seven-wicket in at The Wanderers last week. India were leading the series 1-0 thanks to a historic 113-run win in Centurion.

India have never won a Test series on South African soil and are aiming to change history. They were without captain Kohli for the second Test and KL Rahul led the team in his absence.

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