When Virat Kohli injured his right shoulder while diving to stop a boundary on the first day of the Ranchi Test, Indian fans around the globe had their hearts in their mouth. From the moment he got back up everybody could sense that something was wrong. With time it was evident that his injury was going to be serious and from thereon Kohli has been running against time to get his fitness levels back.
While everyone is hoping that Kohli takes to the field on Saturday when India clashes against Australia one last time, he clearly hasn’t recovered completely. This is what led to the team management giving a call to young Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer as his cover for the fourth and final Test match.
It is no doubt that Kohli’s presence in the team will be a big boost for team India but forcing him into the Indian line-up would not be the right thing to do. Especially after Kohli himself stated that the rules are same for everyone and if he is not 100 percent fit he won’t take the field. While he may be able to wield the bat, it is the fielding which might prove to be dangerous. Chances of aggravating the injury remain high if he takes to the field. Kohli has had a long home season and batted exceptionally well and to take an impulsive decision will be foolish. Not to forget there is the IPL to follow and another long season of cricket thereafter.
Kohli has travelled with the team and even took part in fielding practice and attended the nets. But he did not pad up to bat. He did some under-arm throwing during fielding practice. Perhaps it was more to do with not exerting pressure on his hurt shoulder.
In the previous Test at Ranchi, Kohli, after going off the field, didn’t return during Australia’s first innings. He batted at No.4 during the previous Test but did not make much runs. In the 5 innings that Kohli has played so far in the series he has managed to score just 46 runs at a poor average of 9.20. Hence once again if he returns to bat in an unfit state it will not benefit team India in any way. Infact it might do more harm than good.
The final Test at Dharamsala will be Kohli’s last chance to prove his mettle against Australia. And going by his nature he is not the one to back down from a challenge. But for once he must listen to his head instead of his heart.