Virat Kohli has rejoined the Indian cricket team squad in South Africa and he will be ready in time for the first Test match starting December 26 in Centurion. According to a News18 report, Kohli was in London during the leave and the plans were communicated in advance to the team management. The report quoted a senior BCCI official who said that Kohli took a London trip ahead of the first Test match against South Africa and that was the reason why he did not take part in the intra-squad practice matches.

“Virat Kohli wasn’t going to play that game. The team management was aware of his plan and schedule, and it isn’t something which happened overnight or due to a family emergency. Look at the player in question, it’s Virat Kohli. He is very well planned when it comes to these things and his London trip was communicated and planned well in advance,” a senior BCCI official was quoted by News18.

The official also revealed that Kohli had multiple training sessions with the team before leaving for London on December 19 and he will start practice once again after joining the team in Centurion.

“Kohli left India for South Africa on December 15. Had good 3-4 training sessions before he went to London on December 19. For the next few days, he was in London and has now linked up with the Test squad and will in all likelihood train in Centurion tomorrow,” the official added.

Meanwhile, South Africa head coach Shukri Conrad is confident that India won’t be able to breach the ‘Final Frontier’ in their Test history even with his frontline pacers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi hitting the nets ahead of the ‘Boxing Day’ Test.

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

On Saturday afternoon, Rabada and Nigidi were out there bowling full tilt at the centre training wicket at the Supersport Park and facing them was Dean Elgar, the man who is playing his last series.

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

“They will be fresh and firing (Rabada and Ngidi). I am always a firm believer of freshness,” said Conrad ahead of team’s training session on the day.

Both are coming into the game without match time but the coach isn’t overtly bothered.

“It would be have been ideal had they got some mileage in the legs by playing First-Class matches but that’s life. You have got to find a way. But I am not bothered that they will be undercooked for the game.

“KG (Rabada) and Lungi are still in the 15-member squad and available for selection. We will make that decision tomorrow. Hopefully, tomorrow morning we will have a full squad of 15 to select from,” the coach said.

(With PTI inputs)

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