New Delhi: India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has confirmed that skipper Virat Kohli will not be a part of the fourth Test between India and Australia at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala. Speaking to the host broadcasters at the start of the game, Bangar said that Kohli is not a 100 per cent fit and so Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team.
“Kohli had made it clear in the press conference on Saturday that he will play only if he is a 100 per cent fit. But sadly, that is not the case and so he will miss the game. Rahane will lead the team in his absence,” Bangar said.
With the high-voltage rubber locked at 1-1, things couldn’t have got worse for India as their captain admitted on Saturday that he is not hundred percent fit going into the match, with a threat of “aggravating the injury in the field” looming.
The pre-match statement was kind of a giveaway that Kohli’s chances of playing were dim in a match where his presence as a leader was required the most. While Kohli the batsman had a nightmare of a series, the absence of a quality batsman like him can prove to be a game-changer unless his replacement Shreyas Iyer fires big time.
Kohli did bat at the nets, but physio Patrick Farhart felt that it was not good enough to have Kohli take the challenge of playing five days.