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Brad Hodge says Virat Kohli might have missed the final Test to play the IPL opener

Brad Hodge
Brad Hodge. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Aussie batsman Brad Hodge who made his identity as a T20 batsman feels Team India captain Virat Kohli’s decision to make himself unavailable for the final Test in Dharamsala might lead to big questions being asked on Kohli’s leadership if he walks out to play in the IPL opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 5th April. Hodge is in charge of the Gujarat Lions outfit in the cash-rich league.

On the morning of the final Test, Kohli had to sit out as he failed to recuperate fully from his shoulder injury which he sustained during the opening day of the 3rd Test in Ranchi. He fell badly on his right shoulder while chasing a delivery and looked in ominous pain. He didn’t take the field for the rest of the day and the majority of Day 2 but did come out to bat in India’s 1st innings and also fielded in Australia’s 2nd innings. He made it pretty clear ahead of the final Test that he would take the field only if he was 100% fit which unfortunately wasn’t the case.

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“You’d hope as a sportsman that he’s seriously injured,” Hodge was quoted as saying by Fox Sports News’ Gameday Live. “I’m hopeful, as a Gujarat Lions coach, that when we play RCB (Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore) in a couple of weeks, that he’s not playing.

“Because if you miss one game of Test match cricket and you’re fronting up the next week for RCB versus whoever, Bangalore, at 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 — which has been pretty spiteful as well. You would think that your captain would get out there and get amongst the fight and get in there.”

Hodge further added that Kohli wouldn’t be the first player guilty of going soft for his country in the interest of huge pay cheque in the IPL if that is the case. “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 that 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 concluded.

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