“A small insight into How Indian cricket players are bigger stars than Premier League Football players over here !!!” is how Michael Vaughan summed up the treatment and the frezny caused when Virat Kohli stepped out of the hospital in Ranchi on Thursday. The Indian skipper was leaving the hospital after the first day’s play in the third Test between India and Australia. The Delhi batsman had walked out of the ground in the 40th over after his desperate dive to save a boundary had resulted in him landing on his right shoulder. At the time, he looked to be good enough to move the shoulder muscles enough as he gestured to playing a flying shot. But clearly it wasn’t comfortable enough to return to the field of play. And that is how it remained for the entirety of the first day and then the second day with Abhinav Mukund doing the duty of a substitute fielder. In Kohli’s absence, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane took control of the leadership duties.
A scan later in the evening revealed a “strain” but a BCCI statement said there was “no serious concern” and “he will continue to receive treatment, which will assist him to participate in the rest of the match”. There was plenty of interest within the digital sphere and expectedly those in Ranchi to find out how the captain is doing. Or simply, get a glimpse of one of the most important people in Indian cricket at the moment.
Such was the frenzy that thousands thronged the gates of the local Ranchi hospital as Kohli went in for a scan and needed armed security to ensure he walked from the hospital to the car.
— Yash Chawla (@chawla_yash) 16 March 2017
Kohli’s absence from the field, however, won’t likely hurt India’s batting order in the first innings as it is being construed as an external injury. According to the ICC’s playing conditions, if a player is absent from the field for longer than eight minutes, the player, “shall not be permitted to bat unless or until, in the aggregate, he has returned to the field and/or his side’s innings has been in progress for at least that length of playing time for which he has been absent or, if earlier, when his side has lost five wickets.”
However, the clause does not apply if the player has suffered “an external blow (as opposed to an internal injury such as a pulled muscle) whilst participating earlier in the match and consequently been forced to leave the field. Nor shall it apply if the player has been absent for very exceptional and wholly acceptable reasons (other than injury or illness).”