Virat Kohli must play at Trent Bridge even if half-fit, says Sunil Gavaskar
He is the only Indian batsman who has looked comfortable in the middle.
Updated - Aug 14, 2018 11:39 am
If their performance in the field wasn’t enough to shudder the fans, the news that captain Virat Kohli remains a doubtful starter for the third Test at Trent Bridge will definitely make them feel worse. Kohli is nursing an old back injury and was seen receiving treatment on the ground at Lord’s during India’s second innings. Though he has assured his participation in the Test, fingers remained crossed. However, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that the Indian captain must play the next match.
Kohli has been the only scorer for India so far in the series with one century and a fifty. His absence in an already brittle batting line-up will add more to the visitors’ plight and Gavaskar is well aware of the fact and hence he wants even a half-fit Indian captain to take the field in the do or die game.
“Virat Kohli has to assess his injury himself.. whether to take the risk or not… But if I were the captain, I would want Kohli to play even if he’s 50 per cent fit. He’s such a crucial element. He has to play unless he can’t bend or walk. At the end of the day, he has to decide how much pain he can bear. For me Virat has to play,” the 69-year-old legendary opening batsman told India Today.
India were thrashed by an innings and 159 runs at Lord’s after they lost a competitive game at Edgbaston by 31 runs to concede a 0-2 lead to the hosts. Another loss in Nottingham will mean India’s success story in Tests in England will get 11-year older.
Kohli has garnered 240 runs in four innings of the series so far and none of India’s other top-order batsmen have been able to cross a tally of 100 runs in the series so far. The Indian captain is, in fact, the highest scorer from both sides in the series so far.
They are still licking the wounds
Gavaskar said with most of India’s top batsmen struggling to hit form, the visitors should be back at the nets as early as possible to prepare for the third game.
“I can understand they have taken the day off today.. they are still licking the wounds of the defeat at Lord’s but they should have been planning to leave for Nottingham after today which would have been the last day of the Lord’s Test and practice from tomorrow,” he said.
“But clearly as we have seen from the start of the ODI series, they are in love with London. You cannot get practice facilities in London as easily as you would in Nottingham – I hope they practice from Tuesday. And there should be no optional practice. Everybody needs to get down to practice There’s no such thing as optional practice when you are 0-2 down.” the former India captain had some strict words for the Indian team.