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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Virat Kohli’s 100th Test delayed after back spasm

KL Rahul is leading India in the ongoing match with Hanuma Vihari coming in as the skipper’s replacement

A Staff Reporter Published 04.01.22, 02:12 AM
Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli. File Photo.

As if off-the-field issues with the BCCI weren’t enough to bother him, Virat Kohli now has to deal with an upper back spasm too, which ruled him out of the second and penultimate Test versus South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, which would have been his 99th, on Monday.

Kohli had attended the match-eve training session and batted at nets as well. Head coach Rahul Dravid too gave no such hint during Sunday’s pre-match news conference. However, according to the BCCI, India’s Test captain had the spasm on Monday morning and his condition is being monitored by the medical team.

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Kohli’s deputy on the tour, KL Rahul, is leading India in this Test with Hanuma Vihari coming in as the skipper’s replacement.

Forced out of this game, Kohli’s 100th Test, which should have been in Cape Town next week, now is likely to be in Bangalore from February 25 when India host Sri Lanka in the first of a two-match series.

According to fitness experts, back spasms can also happen overnight and one generally takes a maximum of three days to recover from them, which means the matter isn’t too worrisome for Kohli and that he should be back in the team for the final Test at Newlands in Cape Town.

It’s not the first time, though, that Kohli is having issues with his back.

During the tour of England last year, Kohli was advised rest in a three-day warm-up game in Durham due to a stiff back prior to the first Test, which began from August 4 in Nottingham.

In 2018, during India’s previous tour of South Africa, he had to sit out a T20I because of a dodgy back, which had also troubled him a little bit during India’s England tour that year, though he didn’t have to miss any of the games there. Even in the third Test versus Australia at the MCG in 2018-19, he had to bat with back pain for a certain period of time.

“I have had disc issues since 2011,” Kohli had said then.

“I’ve been able to manage it because of the physical effort I have put in over the last few years. When you have a back with disc issues, you can only maintain it that way, so I’m not too bothered by it.

“When the workload gets high, it can get into a spasm. But you don’t really have serious issues, you become fine in two-three days.”

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