Sunil Gavaskar advised the injured Virat Kohli not to risk aggravating his shoulder injury by coming out to bat in the Ranchi Test against Australia unless it is necessary. However, Gavaskar said that considering how well the pitch is holding up, Kohli might not have to enter the field.
Kohli picked up the injury on the first day of the Test while attempting to stop a boundary. After landing awkwardly on his shoulder, Kohli has not returned to the field. Reports suggested that the Indian captain had been advised to rest for 10 days. Gavaskar, however, said that India should not risk his inclusion in the team and save him for the final match in Dharamsala.
"Look the injury 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. So, he can rest completely... he can be fit for the next Test," Gavaskar told NDTV.
"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."
Australia put on a strong showing in the third Test of the series riding on the back of performances by Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell to put 451 on the board in the first innings. In reply, India are in a comfortable position with Cheteshwar Pujara (10) and Murali Vijay (42) at the crease and Gavaskar said that whether or not Kohli came out to bat depended on how the middle order batted.
"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."
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