India is due to play the decider match of the series from the 11th of January at Newlands, Capetown. The team after their win at Centurion lost at Johnessburg. Virat Kohli in the pre-match press conference has confirmed that he is fully fit and will be back in the team whereas Mohammad Siraj has not yet recovered from the niggle and will not play. Ishant Sharma is likely to take his place.

The middle-order transition has to happen naturally: Virat Kohli

Kohli heaped praises on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane for their performance in the last test match. When asked about the middle-order transition, Kohli said that one cannot pinpoint when the transition talks will be there about India’s middle order. In his own words, “I obviously cannot pinpoint when we will have a talk about transition. I think the game itself kind of pans out in a way where transition happens naturally so it cannot be forced by individuals I feel. And if you look at the last test, both Jinx (Rahane) and Pujara, the way they batted in the second innings, that experience is priceless for us”

Kohli commented that the experience of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane is priceless for the team

Rahane and Pujara have been under some criticism for a long time as the duo has scored heavy runs inconsistently. But good news for India is that both players have contributed decently in the ongoing test series so far. Pujara was instrumental in India’s 2018 – 2019 victory in Australia whereas Ajinkya Rahane carried India to an unexpected victory in Australia in 2020- 21 when India won the series with a depleted side.

Rishabh Pant reflects on his mistakes: Virat Kohli

Pant was involved in some banter with Rassie van der Dussen at a short silly point. On the third ball of the innings, the batsman charged down the track of Kagiso Rabada. The ball edged the bat and went straight to the keeper’s gloves. The likes of Gavaskar and Madan Lal criticized Rishabh Pant for playing that shot when the match was evenly poised. Rahul Dravid in his press conference said that the management will have a word with Pant on his approach.

Now Virat Kohli too has said in his pre-match conference that the team had a conversation with Rishabh Pant in the practice after the second match. In his own words, “Batsman is the first to realize the way they have given their wicket. They do come to know whether they played the right shot according to the situation or not. As long as the player accepts the mistakes and responsibilities, there is room for progress. We all have done mistakes in our career and we have got out at crucial stages of the match due to our mistakes and pressure.”