Shreyas in as Kohli's back-up

The Tamil Nadu opener is the only available batsman in the squad, and was seen having a lengthy net session, with all the frontline Indian bowlers taking turns bowling to him.

Published: 24th March 2017 03:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2017 03:14 AM   |  A+A-

Virat Kohli with team physiotherapist Patrick Farhart on Friday | PTI

Express News Service

DHARAMSALA: Virat Kohli may have made only 46 runs in five innings, but as is always the case, all eyes will once again be on him at Dharamsala. It’s been a week since Kohli picked up a shoulder injury, and a lot has happened since. There is a question mark over his participation in the fourth Test.On Thursday, two days before the Test, all the Indian skipper did in practice was take some catches, leaving before his teammates.

Mumbai's Shreyas Iyer, who scored a double century against Australia in a warm-up game, has been called up as back-up for the injured skipper.

It is understood Kohli is under painkillers, and was seen having a long chat with India physio Patrick Farhat. Normally the first one to hit the nets, Kohli was the last one on Thursday, and did so with a bat in hand. While the rest of his teammates did the usual drills, the No 4 took a couple of throwdowns from coach Anil Kumble. He abandoned that after just three deliveries, with Farhat paying close attention.
When India geared up for catching, Kohli just watched his teammates.

Even when fielding coach R Sridhar summoned the close-in fielders for practice, Kohli resisted at first as Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Karun Nair quietly went about their business. After a while, he joined Vijay for some slip-catching, but the Delhi lad caught only two that came his way, preferring to avoid the ones that came to his right or in between him and the opener. On normal days, it is the sort of routine where Kohli would have dived to his right to pluck those, but Thursday was different.

The nets revealed much more as Kohli didn’t even open his kit bag, instead sitting under an umbrella with his right shoulder heavily strapped. Farhat attended to him there, with Kohli throwing a couple of balls under-arm. With just one day to go, it will be interesting to see if the right-hander is fit to play, even as the team-management was looking at Abhinav Mukund.

The Tamil Nadu opener is the only available batsman in the squad, and was seen having a lengthy net session, with all the frontline Indian bowlers taking turns bowling to him.

In case Kohli isn’t fit enough to play, then the team management has to ponder on whether to bring in an extra bowler. And in case they choose to play Abhinav, then there will be a major rejig in the batting order, as one among Vijay or Rahul and the former has to bat at No 3 or 4, which might unsettle the rest of the batting unit in a crunch game.


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