SA vs IND: Kohli, who had missed the second Test match in Johannesburg, which India lost by 7 wickets, will return to the side for the third Test after recovering from a back spasm.
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is hopeful that Virat Kohli will end his century drought in the series-deciding third and final Test match against South Africa in Cape Town starting on Tuesday. Kohli, who had missed the second Test match in Johannesburg, which India lost by 7 wickets, will return to the side for the third Test after recovering from a back spasm. The Indian Test skipper has not been at the top of his game in red-ball cricket for the last couple of years. He hasn’t scored an international hundred in more than two years. Kohli’s last hundred came against Bangladesh in November 2019 in a day-night Test match in Kolkata.
“Virat Kohli will return in this Test. I hope his century drought breaks in this match, it’s been a long time since we have seen a hundred from him,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.
During the pre-match press conference Kohli said he was not at all bothered about the criticism.
“This is not the first time that people have talked about my form, it has happened a few times in my career. England in 2014 was one of those phases. I do not kind of look at myself from the lens the outside world looks at me with. The standards have been set by me myself, they are not an occurrence from the outside world, and more than anyone else, I take a lot of pride in doing the best for the team and wanting to perform for the team regularly,” said Kohli on Monday.
Meanwhile Harbhajan also hoped that the experienced Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will notch up big scores.
“Hopefully, alongside him, Pujara, Rahane, and the other senior players will show their might once again. They have scored 50s but I’ll expect them to convert that into centuries,” Harbhajan added.
Both Pujara and Rahane showed signs of returning to form with attacking fifties in India’s second innings in the Johannesburg Test.
“The doubts over Pujara and Rahane’s selection have subdued a bit because both batted brilliantly for their half-centuries. They couldn’t convert it into centuries but because these were important knocks, I feel they have cleared the road in front a bit and shouldn’t worry about getting dropped… Well done Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, both are senior players and it feels very good when senior players come forward to perform,” Harbhajan added.