March 26, 2017 6:47:32 pm
With Virat Kohli sitting out the fourth and deciding Test against Australia in Dharamsala due to a right shoulder injury, Ajinkya Rahane has stepped in as the captain of the Indian team. Kohli had picked up the injury on the opening day of the third Test in Ranchi as he went to dive and prevent runs on the boundary. In the process he ended up hurting his shoulder enough to sit out the entire Australian inning.
Now Kohli faces a race against time to get fit for the IPL which begins on April 5 and the opening game itself sees his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side take on defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad.
With just ten days for Kohli to recover and pad up for the cash-rich league, former Australia batsman said Kohli would be “dirty” if he didn’t play for India but came out for the IPL.
“(Because) if you miss one game of Test match cricket and you’re fronting up the next week for RCB versus whoever, at Bangalore, Chinnaswamy Stadium… You’d be pretty dirty if he didn’t front up to a Test match and try and win a valuable series against Australia. You would think that your captain would get out there and get amongst the fight and get in there,” he told Fox Sports News’ Gameday Live.
Queried whether Kohli could be saving himself for the IPL, Hodge claimed: “It’s happened before. Not just Virat, but there’s many players that have come up to IPL time and … look, we know it’s a cash-rich tournament, there’s some money up for grabs.”
“He gets paid a helluva lot of money – he gets paid a helluva lot of money anyway, so it doesn’t matter – but there are certain players who will limp in to IPL time, to make sure they get there and perform well, because it is an important tournament for everyone around the world.”
Hodge who is the coach of Gujarat Lions hoped Kohli is not fit by time the two teams meet on April 19. “You’d hope as a sportsman that he’s seriously injured. I’m hopeful, as a Gujarat Lions coach, that when we play RCB in a couple of weeks that he’s not playing,” he stated.
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