Reason why Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are not playing warm-up game against County XI
Kohli had a stiff back, while Rahane missed out to a hamstring niggle.
Updated - Jul 20, 2021 8:05 pm
Amidst a tad bit of ruckus over Indian skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane giving the three-day warm-up fixture in Durham a miss, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed the respective reasons behind.
Kohli is understood to have felt some stiffness in his back and was advised rest by the BCCI’s medical team, while a slightly swollen left upper hamstring meant that Rahane could not be available for the fixture either. However, Rahane, currently under the supervision of the medicals, is expected to be fit for the first Test against England that starts in Nottingham from August 4.
In Kohli’s absence, Rohit Sharma took on the leader’s role, however, none of the Indian top-order batter’s had the best of outings on opening day. Sharma was caught for a 33-ball 9 after he miscued a pull against Lydon James, who also cleaned up Mayank Agarwal for 28. Agarwal was more fluent than any other batter, striking six fours in his 28 off 35.
KL Rahul, who came into the side in the absence of Rishabh Pant, notched up a half-century and strung partnerships with Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari, both of whom failed to convert their starts. Jack Carson had Pujara stumped for 21, ending his 47-ball stay, while Liam Patterson-White got Vihari caught for a 71-ball 24.
Avesh Khan, Washington Sundar represent County XI on ECB’s request
Meanwhile, the BCCI further confirmed that both Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar played for County XI after some of the players from the 14-man squad got injured or came in close contact with Covid-19 positive cases. Khan, who could not pick a wicket, left the field after injuring his thumb during fielding.
The three-day warm-up game concludes on 22nd July, after which the team will continue to practice and train inside the bio-secure environment. India plays five Tests starting in Nottingham, followed by Lord’s (August 16), Leeds (August 29), London (September 2), and Manchester (September 10).
The series will mark the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship, the inaugural edition of which India lost to New Zealand earlier last month.