What’s the story
Team India and RCB captain Virat Kohli is a doubtful starter to the IPL 2017, after conceding that he is still a few weeks away from attaining full fitness from his shoulder injury. Speaking to Ravi Shastri at the post-match conference in Dharamsala, Kohli said: “It is still a few weeks for me to be 100% fit on the field”.
In case you didn’t know…
Kohli injured his shoulder while diving to stop a boundary close to the ropes during the third Test at Ranchi. The 28-year old fell on his right shoulder and strained it, and had to leave the field immediately. Although he did return to bat in both the innings, he did not take the field at all, with Abhinav Mukund replacing him as a substitute in the middle.
His participation in the decider at Dharamsala remained a mystery until the last hour, and he was eventually deemed unfit to play, with deputy Ajinkya Rahane taking the mantle of captaincy.
The heart of the matter
Having missed his first Test in 54 appearances, Kohli wasn’t fit enough to take field after stating that the injury had an element of getting aggravated. When asked by Ravi Shastri about his injured shoulder, Kohli said that he still required a few weeks to be 100% on the field, deeming him to be a doubtful starter for the opening matches of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, his IPL franchise since 2008.
Asked Virat when he will play next. He replied: Shoulder still not fine yet. Dont know exactly. Physio will tell official timespan. #IndvAus— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) March 28, 2017
Kohli’s recuperation period is likely to extend past the first few matches of RCB’s campaign, the first of which begins against reigning champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at Hyderabad on April 5, a week after the culmination of the Dharamsala Test. The subsequent matches, against Delhi, Punjab and Mumbai, are scheduled to take place in quick succession, on April 8, April 10 and April 14.
While Kohli is known to brave injuries and play (he batted for RCB despite having ten stitches on his hand), it is imperative that Kohli takes his time to recover completely. The IPL is a long tournament, and rushing himself into the game might not be a good idea, considering the fact that the injury is one that can aggravate quickly and could flare up midway if it doesn’t fully heal. Also, with a tournament as important as the Champions Trophy scheduled to take place just after the IPL, Team India wouldn’t want their talisman to be under an injury cloud.