What's the story?
Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar has said that Indian skipper Virat Kohli should bat only if needed in the first innings of the Ranchi Test. The 28-year-old has taken no part in the game since the post-lunch session of the opening day, after suffering a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the game since then.
“I don’t think he should bat at No 4. The injury is maybe not very, very serious, but if he can rest completely, then he can be fit for the next Test. He should bat only if it is a dire need,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
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India were dealt a big blow early in the game when Kohli injured his right shoulder while diving to stop a ball from going to the fence and immediately left the field along with team physio Patrick Farhart.
Several reports on his future participation in the game began to gather steam, before the BCCI released a statement, saying that there was ‘no serious concern’ that would hamper his quick recovery.
The heart of the matter
Gavaskar further added the wicket in Ranchi, which is hosting a Test match for the first time, looked like a normal Ranji Trophy pitch with a darkish colour, stating that there were minute cracks on the pitch with no big plates and admitted that everyone misread the wicket.
He further praised comeback man Glenn Maxwell, stating that he had done a very good job proving everyone wrong and complemented his ability to understand the game situation and play accordingly to get to his maiden Test hundred.
Because Kohli has suffered an external injury, he can bat at his customary Number 4 position and it will now be interesting to see how he copes up with the bat. He is someone who plays both the horizontal and the vertical shots in equal proportions and all eyes will be on how comfortably he is able to do that in such a scenario.
While the large cricket-crazy Indian fan base would love to watch Kohli bat over the course of the weekend, it needs to be understood that there is one more game to go in this series and then there is also the Indian Premier League and the Champions Trophy and so if he can take some time off to recover fully, then it would be beneficial in the long run.