Cape Town | Jagran Sports Desk: Ahead of the start of the third Test between India and South Africa on Tuesday, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Monday announced that pacer Mohammed Siraj has been ruled out of the third and final Test and said that he doesn't want to take a risk with pacer Siraj. Kohli also confirmed that he is fit and ready to return in the playing XI for the third Test. India and South Africa will lock horns in the third and final Test, beginning Tuesday at Cape Town.

Kohli, who missed the second Test because of an upper back spasm, had nets with the rest of the team at Newlands on Sunday. He batted without any visible discomfort, lunging forward to play the drives.

Meanwhile, the Indian Test skipper doesn't want to take any risks with Siraj, who has a niggle, and hence the bowler will not play the third Test. "Yes I am abosouleuty fit. Siraj is obviously recovering from the niggle, he had from the last game and at present, I do not think he is match ready to take the field," said Kohli.

"We cannot risk a guy who is not fit becuase we know how important is that a little niggle opening and extending into an injury could be for the team. Yes Siraj is not upto the mark but I am abosulety fit," he added.

The series stands level at 1-1 and there is everything to play for in the series decider. Speaking about the fitness of players, Kohli said, "More so now with playing in environments where we are restricted most of the times, I think these things are already being discussed and considered", he said.

"Things will improve as we go ahead. This is the only way to manage this, you do not want to lose important players. These are the few things I have observed that have led to players having niggles," Kohli added.

With Siraj being ruled out, it is expected that Ishant Sharma will be included in the playing XI for the third Test, however, skipper Kohli did not say whether Ishant Sharma will get the nod ahead of Umesh Yadav.

India vs South Africa 3rd Test Probable Playing XI:

India: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav/Ishant Sharma

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Keegan Petersen, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynn Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan