Question marks remain over Siraj’s availability for the decider after he picked up a hamstring niggle at the Wanderers
“I haven’t had a detailed discussion with the physio as yet, but from everything I’m hearing and from just having a chat with him, he’s really improving and should be good to go in four days’ time.”
Dravid was full of praise for Vihari – making mention even of his first-innings contribution when he made a solid start before getting caught at short leg off a steep lifter – but said young players have always had to wait their turn in international cricket.
“Firstly I think Vihari played really well in this Test match, in both innings in fact,” Dravid said. “I think in the first innings he got a nasty one, unfortunately for him it popped up and the fielder got his fingertips to it and took a really good catch, and he batted beautifully in the second innings, so that gives us a lot of confidence.
“Shreyas has also done that two or three Test matches ago, he’s got runs as well, and I think they’ve just got to take heart from the fact that whenever they’re getting the opportunities they are doing well, and hopefully their time will come. You look back on some of our guys who are now considered senior players, they also had to wait their time.
“They also had to score a lot of runs, they’ve had, at the start of their careers, it’s probably been a bit stop-start as well. So it happens. It’s just the nature of the sport, it’s the nature of the game, and it will happen, so I think they can take heart [from their performances] and we can take a lot of confidence from the way Vihari batted in this game, he really played well, that should give him a lot of confidence, and it certainly gives us a lot of confidence.”
If Siraj is not fit, India have back-up in the experienced Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for the match, which starts on January 11.