IND vs SA: Why Kohli preferred Umesh ahead of Ishant for Cape Town Test | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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IND vs SA: Why Virat Kohli preferred Umesh Yadav ahead of Ishant Sharma in India's Playing XI for Cape Town Test

By, New Delhi
Jan 11, 2022 02:02 PM IST

As a returning Virat Kohli won the toss, he explained the reason behind preferring Umesh Yadav ahead of senior pro Ishant Sharma for the third Test in Cape Town.

As expected, India entered the Newlands Test with two changes for the series decider in Cape Town. The return of Virat Kohli meant that as unfortunate as it may be, Hanuma Vihari is back warming the benches, while in the other change, Umesh Yadav has replaced the injured Mohammed Siraj.

Umesh Yadav got the nod ahead of Ishant Sharma. (Getty Images)
Umesh Yadav got the nod ahead of Ishant Sharma. (Getty Images)

For Siraj's replacement, the toss-up was always going to be between Umesh and Ishant Yadav, and while many believed that with an experience of having played more than 100 Tests, Ishant would get the nod, Kohli surprised by going ahead with Umesh. As a returning Kohli once again won the toss, he explained the reason behind preferring Umesh ahead of senior pro Ishant.

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"You cannot control what's above your head. Runs on this venue have always worked out well at this venue. I am fit and fine. I come in for Vihari. Siraj missed out because of a niggle and Umesh comes in for him," Kohli said.

"Umesh has been very potent with the ball recently, very handy in the field and with the bat as well. It was a tough decision to choose between the two. We are expected to win every Test we play overseas and that fourth innings chase from South Africa was a special one from them. It is a beautiful stadium and we are very excited."

As for South Africa, the Proteas unit is unchanged from the previous game. With India winning all three tosses, South Africa have been asked to bowl first for the third time in a row now.

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"Ideally you want to bat first on this surface and given the overhead conditions it might not be a bad idea to bowl first. The cricket we have been playing the last few months has been very special given the number of players we lost," captain Dean Elgar said.

"One good thing about having younger guys come in is that they come with a fresh, new mindset which is quite warming for us and then me who has this old school mentality which has been a balancing act for us and obviously we try to implement that with what we have in the change room."

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