New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Friday advised an injured Virat Kohli not to take risk by coming out to bat in the ongoing third Test against Australia unless it is absolutely necessary.
Gavaskar said since the Ranchi pitch was still good for batting, the Indians should be able to get close to the Australian first innings total of 451 without Kohli’s contribution.
“Look the injury (of Kohli) may not be very serious. But he is a man who loves to be on the field, and the fact that he was not on the field means that the injury was a little more than what is given out (to be). So, he can rest completely… he can be fit for the next Test,” Gavaskar said. “Kohli should come into bat only if it is needed, only if it’s a dire situation where India suddenly collapses, don’t have too many runs and need to ensure that the Australians do not take a big lead in the first innings. Then and then only Virat Kohli should come out to bat,” he said.
Kohli could not field after landing awkwardly on his right shoulder while trying to save a boundary in the post-lunch session on day one of the match yesterday. Such was the impact that he had difficulty in standing up and was grimacing in pain. He had to be rushed out of the field immediately. But, the host nation had heaved a sigh of relief last night when medical reports confirmed that there were no “serious concerns” with regards to Kohli’s shoulder injury.
Gavaskar said the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (batting on 10), Murali Vijay (batting on 42) and Ajinkya Rahane can build a big innings for India as the pitch was still good to bat on. “That (Kohli not batting) depends on the other Indian batsman. It is a good pitch still, there is not much turn, the ball is not seaming or bouncing awkwardly, India will need to bat the whole day tomorrow and that will give Kohli a full day to rest,” said Gavaskar.
“That is what the Indian batsmen should look for tomorrow. Rahane at number 4, Karun Nair at 5, Ashwin and Saha following at 6 and 7. If they bat responsibly, they can bat the whole day tomorrow and that will take India close to the Australian total. At this stage you want to be in a situation where you want to make sure that the Australians don’t take a big first innings lead.