Virat Kohli is optimistic about leading India in the third Test, which begins on August 18, even though he spent portions of the Lord’s Test suffering from a “sore” back.
“The good thing is I have five days before the next Test,” he said. “We are confident that, with rehab and strengthening, I should be ready for the next game although not (with) the same intensity in the field. But I should be good enough to hold a position in the field and be 100% with the bat. Again, I will have to look at the running bit of things, which was difficult today. As of now it is sore.”
Kohli explained that it was a recurrence of an injury he suffered in February, which forced him to sit out a T20I in South Africa. “As of yesterday and today it was not great,” he said. “The back is one thing that can be very tricky when it goes off. It happened during the latter half of the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20I game because that was very sudden. It happened one day before.”
The first signs of Kohli’s problems were seen on Saturday evening, and they seemed to persist because on Sunday morning, he did not take the field even as England declared their innings on 396 for 7. Kohli had missed 37 minutes of play today and so he had to wait that time out before he could come out to bat. But when he did, he could barely walk.
Virat Kohli has never fielded the same XI in two consecutive Tests under his captaincy
He kept grimacing while playing his strokes and was eventually dismissed while trying to fend off a short delivery from Stuart Broad. Kohli immediately asked for a review but replays clearly showed he had indeed nicked the ball that was caught brilliantly by debutant Ollie Pope at short leg.
The Indian captain limped off through the Long Room and into the visitors’ dressing room.
There were other concerns for Kohli as well. When asked about the XI India picked to play at Lord’s, he had to admit that they had erred by choosing a second spinner when conditions were heavily in favour of fast bowling.
Despite the first day being washed out, India still changed the balance of their side by leaving out Umesh Yadav and bringing in left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav. The absence of a third frontline seamer was clear when they couldn’t keep the pressure on England when they reduced them to 89 for 4 and 131 for 5 on the third day to threaten a fightback having been skittled for 107.
“The weather was unpredictable,” Kohli said at the presentation. “It was different when we started then it changed suddenly, [but] I think we got the combination a bit off before the game. We have a chance to correct that next game. [At] Two-nil down the only option is to come out positive, make it 2-1 and make it an exciting series from there.”