India captain Virat Kohli on Friday admitted that he is not even close to hundred percent fitness with a possibility that his right shoulder injury could get aggravated while fielding in the series decider in Dharamsala on Saturday.
While he didn’t confirm that he is out of the fourth and final Test but maintained that the rule that the team has made for any unfit player is very much applicable to him.
“I wouldn’t say it is a normal feeling. It is obviously different from how you play at 100% fitness. Those are the things that you need to address when you are going through (fitness) tests. As a batsman, you want to prepare a certain way. As a fielder, you want to contribute a certain way. Certainly, at this stage, the injury has an element of being aggravated in the field,” Kohli’s answer was a giveaway as to how he is feeling physically at this point in time.
Kohli said that he is trying to buy some time till Friday evening to see if he can get back normal movements.
“While batting, there is no problem whatsoever of it getting aggravated. So it’s a bit different obviously from when you are 100% fit. Again, you never know. I have taken medication after the last game, so I am just hoping that it takes me a bit more time to get back to the normal movements that I have. As I said, I have to give it a few more hours and take that call.”
The current Indian team has an unwritten rule that any player who is not hundred percent should not take the field.
“When we put these things in place, same process applies for me as it does for all the other members of the team. There is no special treatment for anyone. Obviously, if, I am hundred percent fit for the game, is the only condition that I will take the field. So, the (said) rules apply for everyone,” he made it clear.
Asked about the element of risk being involved in playing through injury, Kohli said: “The physio can explain better. I don’t know the magnitude of the risk. All I know is that if I go through fitness test, I will take the field.”
Kohli on Friday had a 20-minute net session and asked how he felt, he explained that reactive movements are only in a match situation.
“It’s very different from competition, that’s one thing. Something that I experienced in Ranchi, when you have reactive movements, the magnitude of your injury comes out. Those are the things that we have to keep in mind, physio (Patrick Farhart) wants to give it a bit more time till I can test myself and probably we will take a call later tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday) before the game. We will have to give it that much time more to make a call with the physiotherapist.”
Kohli said that he needs to be sure if he is in a condition to face bowlers sending down deliveries at 140 clicks plus pace even though he wants to push himself as a skipper.
“We have to check with physio as to how my condition in a full-match scenario, bowling at 140kmph and playing against that bowling. Reactive movements in the field where I am able to move when I am hundred percent or not, kept in mind before taking that decision. But as a player, as a captain, obviously you want to push yourself to take the field, if you can to help team’s cause. As I said, we need to wait a bit more before we can take that decision.”
For the record, Kohli said that this game is like any other Test match but one knows that how badly he would like to
play the match.
“Every match is as crucial for me. It’s no different, it’s a game of cricket. It can be made out to be a certain way, saying it’s the most crucial game of my career or captaincy career, but I won’t put it that way. I don’t see any other game or any other opposition differently. Those things remain the same in my head and as I said, you want to be fit for the game 100%, but sometimes you have to respect the fact that these things are a part of your career as well,” he said.
Asked if the team has enough in its arsenal to cope if he misses the match, Kohli said: “If (I am) not (playing), I am sure the guys will take it as an opportunity to still take the team ahead. We have quality players who want to step up given these kinds of opportunities and you know, if that scenario happens. I am sure everyone’s looking at it as probably the game-changing game of their lives. It’s how you look at a particular situation. So everyone’s looking very optimistic for the game regardless.”