A series on the line against one of their fiercest rivals in the shorter format, and India is missing captain Virat Kohli in the third and final T20 against South Africa. It was Rohit Sharma who walked out for the toss at Cape Town on Saturday, 24 February.
#TeamIndia Playing XI for the decider game. Virat Kohli misses out due to a stiff back. Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel and Jasprit Bumrah are three changes for #TeamIndia #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/n2X7mSOHLd— BCCI (@BCCI) February 24, 2018
The stand-in skipper, who lost the toss and was put in to bat first, said that Kohli was sitting out of the big game due to a stiff back.
While Dinesh Karthik replaced Kohli in the playing 11, India also brought back paceman Jasprit Bumrah, leaving out Jaydev Unadkat. The visitors have also dropped Yuzvendra Chahal and replaced him with left-arm spinner Axar Patel.
South Africa also made two changes as they replaced JJ Smuts and Dane Patterson with Christiaan Jonker, who will make his debut, and Aaron Phangiso.
While commentators were in for a bit of a shock to see Sharma walk out for toss, here's how Twitterati reacted to India's playing 11 for the final game of India's tour of South Africa.
Axar Patel in place of Chahal. No Kuldeep. No Virat Kohli.— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) February 24, 2018
And Rohit Sharma as captain. I should go watch another movie.
Reaction Of Everyone Including Mine When Saw Rohit Sharma Instead Of Virat Kohli At The Toss pic.twitter.com/DH6uvRbVLV— Roshni Walia (@RoshniWalia45) February 24, 2018
No virat means no interest in match— Virat kohli (@KohliFanteam) February 24, 2018
Team India without @imVkohli is like dinner without sweet...— Virat kohli (@KohliFanteam) February 24, 2018
Two match winners are missing from playing XI. Kuldeep & Virat. I hope this doesn't cost India the series! #SAvsIND— Amol Karke (@Imamol97) February 24, 2018
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is scheduled to present the ICC Test Championship Mace to India captain Virat Kohli at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town after the end of the third and final T20 International.
On behalf of the ICC, ICC Cricket Hall of Famers Sunil Gavaskar and Graeme Pollock of South Africa will make the presentation immediately after the awards ceremony for the T20I series.
India have ensured the number one spot on the ICC Test Team Rankings and a prize of US $1 million after their victory in the third and final Test at Johannesburg against South Africa last month.
The win had ensured that no team can move ahead of India in the Test rankings at the 3 April cut-off date.
(With inputs from PTI)
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