India vs South Africa, 2nd Test: Untimely injury for beleaguered Virat Kohli | Cricket News – Times of India
The stars seem to have aligned against Virat Kohli. The Indian Test captain, after his recent run-ins with the BCCI top brass and a dip in batting form, was hoping for some relief with a series win in South Africa under him. The follow-up celebration of his 100th Test appearance in Cape Town was also planned.
But all that has to wait as the 98-Test veteran found himself ruled out of the second Test at the Wanderers following upper back spasms.
It was a shock when vice-captain KL Rahul came in for the toss and he informed that Kohli developed the spasms in the morning and hopes to be back for the third Test in Cape Town starting on January 11.
India coach Rahul Dravid had on Sunday talked about Kohli’s “intent” and how he was very close to getting back into top gear. Dravid had also asked the media to prepare for Kohli’s 100th Test in Cape Town which proves that the captain was fit even on Sunday. The BCCI, too, posted pictures of his batting and there was no indication of any discomfort from any quarter.
But things seemed to have turned around very fast.
Kohli, 34, has always been a fitness fanatic. But he has had a bit of a history of back problems, even though that hadn’t forced him to pull out of a game of this magnitude before. In an interview to England batting great Kevin Pietersen sometime back, the right-hander had said that during the last South African tour in 2017-18, he felt an acute pain in his cervical spine.
“In 2018 when we went to South Africa, I got a cervical spine issue while playing a Test match. It compressed a nerve that was running straight till my little finger of my right hand. It gave me a tingling sensation and I could barely feel my little finger. I could not sleep at night and it was hurting like mad,” Kohli had said.
Following tests, it was revealed that his stomach was too acidic, which led to the pain and consequently he sacrificed meat from his diet to deal with it.
The upper back spasm is a new occurrence and it is to be noted that Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, too, dealt with such injuries in their playing careers.
Former India trainer Ramji Srinivasan, who worked with both Tendulkar and Laxman during their injuries, said that the age Kohli is reaching, he has to be intelligent with his training methods.
“Both Sachin and Laxman knew how to work around their injuries. One should keep in mind that gym is not a place for competition. Training is to supplement a player’s skillset and once you are into your 30s, it is important to be cautious, more so when you are playing all three formats and there is no off-season,” Ramji told TOI.
But the eminent Chennai-based trainer made it clear that there is no reason to raise an alarm. “Sachin showed that he could play at the top for more than a decade after suffering back spasms. And that too without curtailing his game in any way…all it needs is perfect co-ordination between the player, physio and the trainer and things will be fine,” Ramji added.
It will be interesting to see how quickly Kohli can bounce back from this and carry on with a career that still has a lot to offer.
Bumrah appointed vice-captain for the Test; Shreyas Iyer misses out due to stomach bug
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah was on Monday appointed vice-captain for the second Test after KL Rahul was elevated as skipper in the absence of Virat Kohli. Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer was also ruled out of the game due to a stomach bug, the BCCI said in a statement. Bumrah has also been appointed vice-captain for the ODI series starting January 19.
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