After a humiliating innings and 159-run loss against England at Lord's, India suffered yet another blow with skipper Virat Kohli's back niggle resurfacing during the Test.
Kohli had to leave the field on day three after tea to address the problem. Consequently, he could not take the field on Sunday owing to the same issue. With Indian batting in tatters again on day four, Kohli did come out to bat at the No.5 position, but looked in immense pain during his 29-ball 17 with the physio having to attend to him on more than one occasion. He eventually fell to Stuart Broad trying to flick a short of a length delivery, the ball brushing his glove onto his thigh pad and landing straight into the hands of Ollie Pope stationed at forward short leg.
This might not be a great news for a side that is already struggling to find batting form and where Kohli has emerged as the lone warrior.
After India lost the match, Kohli talked about the issue and blamed excessive workload for the recurring problem. Having said that he assured that will be fit in time for the third Test starting on Saturday, in Nottingham.
“As of yesterday and today, it wasn't great. Back is one thing that can be really tricky. It happened during the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20 game,” said Kohli after the match. “The good thing is I have five days before the next Test.
“We're confident, with rehab and strengthening, I should be ready for the next game although not with the same intensity on the field, but I should be able to hold a position in the field and be 100 per cent with the bat. I think five days is good enough to be better for the next game.”
Kohli first suffered a back injury during India's tour to South Africa in February which forced him to sit out of the third and final Twenty20 International in Cape Town. He grappled with injuries during the Indian Premier League while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore as well. Later, a neck sprain led Kohli to miss out on a County stint with Surrey.
He has been the standout batsman for India in the Test series scoring 149 and 51 in the first match at Edgbaston. No other Indian batsman has scored even a half-century so far in the two matches. With the visitors already 2-0 down in the five-match series, Kohli's recurring injuries are a point of concern and the think tank will be desperately hoping the skipper recovers before the third Test.