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Posted at: Jan 4, 2018, 1:54 AM; last updated: Jan 4, 2018, 1:54 AM (IST)

Jadeja doubtful for first Test, Dhawan ready

Cape Town, January 3

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is uncertain for the first Test against South Africa due to a viral illness, BCCI said on Wednesday. The left-arm spinner has been suffering from the illness for the last two days and a decision on his inclusion for the first Test will be made on the morning of the first Test on Friday. 

“The BCCI medical team in consultation with the local medical team has decided that Jadeja will be taken to a hospital for treatment and expects him to recover in the next 48 hours,” BCCI said in a statement. “A decision on his availability ... will be taken on Friady morning.” Meanwhile, opener Shikhar Dhawan has been declared fit after recovering from a minor ankle injury. If India go ahead with the expected three pacers and a spinner combination, R Ashwin is likely to get the nod ahead of Jadeja.

Philander cautions India

South Africa pacer Vernon Philander today questioned India’s claims of being fully prepared for the three-match series, saying a fair assessment of where the visitors stand could only be made after the first Test. 

“India have played most of their games at home so it’ll be interesting to see how they go in South Africa. It’s a totally different ball game here. We have to wait and see once they pass the first Test match,” said Philander. 

South Africa are still contemplating over a three or four pronged pace attack, with left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj in the mix as well. “It’s going to come down to conditions at the end of the day. With a little grass on the wicket and overhead conditions playing in our favour on Friday, who knows, we might go on with four pacers as well,” Philander added.

India will remain No. 1 side even if SA sweep series

Dubai: India’s status as the No. 1 Test side in the ICC rankings will remain intact irrespective of how the series against South Africa pans out, but the Proteas will join the visitors at the top if they win all the three matches. 

Faf du Plessis’s side is presently 13 points behind Virat Kohli’s team, which is sitting on top of the table with 124 points. However, both the sides will finish on 118 points if the South African side makes a clean sweep of the series. Even in that scenario, India will be ranked above South Africa when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. — Agencies

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