What’s the story?
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli, who is currently out with a shoulder injury, admitted that he will not take to the field unless he is “120 %”. India’s captain across all formats admitted that the focus is on the Champions Trophy and he doesn’t want to risk aggravating anything by returning too early.
Speaking to Sanjay Manjrekar during the SRH-RCB game, Virat Kohli said: “The last time I missed a game for RCB was in the first season when I didn’t feature in a few games. But in 8-9 years, not taking the field for RCB feels a little bit weird. Because I have not played the Test match also, I have gotten used to it, so it’s not that frustrating, but to not take the field when you just have just one thing wrong with your body is not an easy thing.
“I don't want to take any chances for sure. There is a Champions Trophy coming after the IPL so unless I am 120% I won’t take the field. So that’s one thing for sure but at the same time, I want to take the field whenever I can and contribute for the team.”
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Kohli injured his shoulder during the Ranchi Test against Australia. After contrasting reports surrounding his fitness, he played the rest of the match which was drawn but was ruled out of the decider in Dharamsala, which India won to seal the series. He had earlier admitted that he was still a few weeks away from being back to full fitness and taking to the field.
Aside from Kohli’s injury, RCB are in a lot of trouble as they began their IPL 2017 campaign without their top three run-getters from last year’s edition. KL Rahul has already been ruled out of the entire tournament due to a shoulder injury that requires surgery while AB de Villiers has a back issue which meant he didn’t play the opener against SRH and Shane Watson was announced as captain until Kohli’s return.
RCB kicked off their IPL 2017 campaign against SRH in a repeat of last year’s final. The tournament ends on May 21, with the Champions Trophy following soon after on June 1 in England.
While it is not a decision that will please the RCB fans, it certainly makes sense for Kohli to not return until he is completely recovered. As he said, the Champions Trophy is the focus and there is no point in rushing himself to play for RCB, only to injure himself again and miss out on more matches both for his IPL and national side.