India without captain Kohli in 2nd Test

IMAGE: Virat Kohli skipper is expected to be available for the series-finale from January 11. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI

India captain Virat Kohli was on Monday ruled out of the second Test against South Africa, in Johannesburg, just before start of the game because of an upper back spasm.

Vice-captain KL Rahul, who will stand in for Kohli in the match, said at the toss that the skipper is expected to be available for the series-finale from January 11.

“Virat is having an upper back spasm. The physios are working on him and hopefully he will recover in time for the next Test,” Rahul said at the toss when asked about Kohli’s absence from the match.

“It’s a dream to captain your country, so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Rahul, who was one of the top performers in India’s 113-run victory in last week’s first Test at Pretoria.

“We’ve had a few good wins here at the Wanderers and will want to continue that,” he added. India are unbeaten in five previous tests at the Wanderers, with two victories and three draws.

Kohli is replaced by the 28-year-old Hanuma Vihari in India’s only change. Vihari is expected to bat at No. 5 in his 13th Test but first since playing against Australia in Sydney one year ago.

Hosts South Africa are without wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who announced his retirement from test cricket immediately after the loss to India in the first Test.

De Kock, 29, was scheduled to miss the last two Test of the three-match series anyway because of the imminent birth of his first child.

Kyle Verreyne replaces De Kock while Duanne Olivier has been picked over Wiaan Mulder in the other change for the home side.

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