India are already carrying openers with dodgy shoulders. Murali Vijay missed the Bangalore Test and has returned for the Ranchi game, while KL Rahul managed in the second Test by not playing lofted shots while scoring 90 and 51 in the win to level the series 1-1. (Day 1 HIGHLIGHTS)
India were dealt another blow on the opening day of the third Test on Thursday after skipper Virat Kohli was forced off the field during the afternoon session after injuring his right shoulder, landing heavily while attempting a diving stop. (Day 1 SCORECARD)
Kohli was seen outside the dressing room with his shoulder strapped. India’s fielding coach, R Sridhar, said the extent of the injury was being assessed.
“The exact nature of Kohli’s injury is yet to be known. He will undergo scans tonight and an update will be given later.
“The exact status (of his injury) will be known tomorrow morning. We took a precaution so that he didn’t aggravate the injury. The impact was heavy because of the momentum he was carrying. There was a shock on his right shoulder.”
At stumps on day 1, Australia ended on 299/4, with skipper Steve Smith notching up his 19th century and Glenn Maxwell smashing his maiden fifty in his first Test since 2014.
Chasing a shot
The incident happened in the 40th over when Peter Handscomb worked Ravindra Jadeja through mid-on, and Kohli chased the ball.
So fast is the Ranchi outfield that once the ball crosses the infield, it’s pretty much sure it will cross the rope. However, Kohli, the fittest player in the side, wanted to show his teammates the importance of not giving up as every run saved matters.
He chased down the ball but had to put in a dive to stop the boundary. He succeeded in that, but in the process landed heavily on his right shoulder. He couldn’t stand up immediately and held his right shoulder in pain, prompting the Indian physio to rush in. Kohli left the ground, leaving Ajinkya Rahane to take charge of leading the side.
Kohli can bat at his usual No 4 spot as he suffered the injury on the field. The India skipper, who scored a double century in each of the four previous series, has managed only 40 runs in the first two Tests against Australia and is desperate to get a big one.