File photo of Indian cricket team.© AFP

India pacer Mohammed Shami, who played a big role in the team’s 2021 Test win at Centurion, will be missed during the two-match Test series against South Africa due to his left heel injury. At the beginning, Shami’s participation in the Test series was subject to fitness but he failed to recover in time and therefore he was not cleared by the BCCI Medical Team. While admitting that Shami will be “big miss” during the Test series against South Africa, Rohit hinted that either of Mukesh Kumar or Prasidh Krishna will be filling in for the pacer while confirming the participation of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

“What he (Mohammed Shami) has done for our team over the years, obviously it’s a big miss but someone will come in place of him, try and fill in that role and it will not be easy but we have confidence,” said Rohit to media on the eve of the first Test match vs South Africa.

“Prasidh (Krishna) extracts a lot of bounce due to his height and Mukesh can swing the ball. We were suppose to have a look at pitch today and decide whether we want someone to bowl up or back. We have 75 percent decided and rest 25 percent we would tomorrow,” the skipper replied with a wry smile.

On the other hand, South Africa’s frontline pacers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi hit the nets ahead of the ‘Boxing Day’ Test and the team’s head coach Shukri Conrad on Saturday expressed confidence that India won’t be able to breach their ‘Final Frontier’ in the upcoming series.

Rabada was rested from the white ball leg as he was nursing a heel niggle while Ngidi pulled out after sustaining a left ankle injury ahead of the T20Is.

On Saturday afternoon though, Rabada and Ngidi bowled full tilt at the centre training wicket of the Supersport Park and facing them was Dean Elgar, who is playing in his last series.

The Centurion track is a pacer’s dream although India did get the better of South Africa last time around. The head coach would want his lethal weapons to fire on all cylinders.

(With PTI Inputs)

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