Mohammad Siraj suffered a side strain in the second test match at Johannesburg. Kohli in the press conference before the third test match revealed that his upper back spasm has recovered however Siraj’s side strain has not healed 100% and therefore he will not take part in the match. There were two likely options for replacement. One was Ishant Sharma and the other was Umesh Yadav. At the toss, it was revealed that Umesh Yadav will play.
In conversation with Dinesh Karthik on Cricbuzz after the 1st day of play, Pollock was asked for his opinion about Ishant being left out from the third test match, to which he replied that “I think the communication needs to be good. A guys needs to be respected for what he has done. And you need to be honest with him, you need to give him the exact reason. And if the reasons were that we think you would be better suited for the left-handers then maybe he has to accept that. Its not easy when you have played that amount of cricket and put in some really good services. And you come to conditions that we have seen in South Africa. He must have been dying for the opportunity, particularly after these two pitches from the two matches.”
Ishant struggled a bit in the first test match against New Zealand at Kanpur where he went wicketless. But fans were expecting Sharma to get a chance on the lively pitches of South Africa when Siraj got injured. Kohli said at the toss that Umesh’s performance against England in England and at home against New Zealand were crucial for his inclusion in the ongoing test match. Earlier, Aakash Chopra said on the Star Sports network that you know that is not a great statement where his career is at this time.