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India vs England: Virat Kohli to ease on ‘intensity’ after back problem flares up

In the second Test at Lord’s on Sunday, Virat Kohli was in pain while batting and struggled running between the wickets. He was off the field for long periods as well.

cricket Updated: Aug 13, 2018 15:12 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, London
India vs England,Virat Kohli,Kohli back problem
Virat Kohli reacts before receiving treatment from medical staff for a back injury. (Reuters)

India skipper Virat Kohli has said he will cut on his aggressive approach to playing manage a persistent back problem, which he admitted is due to the sheer volume of cricket he has played over the last couple of seasons. (MATCH REPORT) (DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS)

In the second Test at Lord’s on Sunday, Kohli was in pain while batting and struggled running between the wickets. He was off the field for long periods, raising doubts whether he will be fit to play the third Test, starting at Trent Bridge on August 19.

“Yesterday and today, it wasn’t great. The back can be very tricky when it goes off. It happened in the latter half or the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20 game. That was very sudden, it happened a day before (the game),” Kohli told reporters after India crashed to defeat against England by an innings and 159 runs.

“The good thing is I have five days before the next Test. We are confident that with rehab and strengthening I should be ready. Although not the same intensity in the field, I should be good enough to hold a position in the field and be 100% with the bat.

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“Again, I’ll have to look at the running bit, which was difficult today. As of now, it’s sore -- I’m not hiding that fact. That’s part of the game. I had to do whatever I could to go out there and bat again and try my best.”

Kohli, 29, has been India’s best batsman over the last four seasons and has been a permanent fixture in all three formats.

Many wear and tear injuries had blighted Sachin Tendulkar’s career, and Kohli’s problem is a worry in the long term and will require him to take breaks.

Since late 2014, the India skipper has played 39 Tests and 77 ODIs. More importantly he has scored 16 centuries each, which points to the sheer amount of strain put on the body. In the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka last year, Virat Kohli was unstoppable but conceded in the end that he felt exhausted.

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Kohli has also spoken in the past that he will not be able to go on playing all formats like this for too long and will have to manage his playing schedule.

Since 2014, Kohli has also played 35 T20 internationals, besides four IPL seasons in the Indian summer.

Indian cricket officials quite well how Tendulkar struggled with hand, elbow, back and foot injuries at various stages of his career, requiring more than one surgery and will be conscious of not allowing a repeat with the player regarded as his heir.

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 09:22 IST