Injury concerns for India: Virat Kohli has stiff back, Ajinkya Rahane swollen hamstring
Both senior players are expected to be available for the Test series opener against England
India's Test captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane missed the three-day warm-up against County Select XI in Chester-le-Street because of a stiff back and swelling in the left hamstring respectively.
The niggles are unlikely to hamper the availability of the senior pair for the first Test against England, which starts at Trent Bridge from August 4.
In Kohli's absence, Rohit Sharma led the Indians in the warm-up match, which has been classified as a first-class game. BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in the media release that Kohli, who was at the ground, "felt some stiffness in his back late Monday evening" and consequently was prescribed rest by the board's medical team. However, the Indian team management would be more concerned by Rahane's fitness, considering the first Test is about two weeks away.
According to Shah, Rahane, too, was being "monitored" after he reported "mild swelling around his left upper hamstring" which "has been addressed by an injection." Shah, however, said that Rahane "is expected to fully recover well in time" for the first Test.
There would be further concerns in the Indian camp after fast bowler Avesh Khan was sent for a scan after hurting his left thumb in the afternoon session. Khan, along with allrounder Washington Sundar, had been allowed by the Indian team management to turn up for the County Select XI after the pair of James Bracey and Zak Chappell were not available for different reasons. Bracey, as reported on Monday, was identified as contact of a Covid-19 positive case and had to be pulled out of the squad while Chappell suffered an injury on Tuesday morning.
Khan, who was picked for the tour as a reserve bowler, hurt his thumb after successfully intercepting a punchy straight drive from Hanuma Vihari. Immediately he signaled to the Indian dressing room left the field wincing in pain, alongside the physio, with a strapped thumb.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo