India needs Virat Kohli at Trent Bridge even if he is half fit: Sunil Gavaskar

first_imgEven after the humiliating defeat at Lord’s, the Indian Test team’s woes are not over as its only in-form batsman Virat Kohli remains doubtful for the third Test against England at Trent Bridge.Kohli, who is suffering from a long-standing back injury, has assured of his participation in the third Test but it is quite certain that the news won’t be confirmed until he walks out for the toss on August 18.Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar meanwhile, is of the opinion that Kohli should play the third Test even if he is half fit.India in love with London, hope they practice from Tuesday: Sunil Gavaskar”Virat Kohli has to assess his injury himself.. whether to take the risk or not.. But if I were the captain, I would want Kohli to play even if he’s 50 per cent fit. He’s such a crucial element. He has to play unless he can’t bend or walk. At the end of the day he has to decide how much pain he can bear. For me Virat has to play,” Gavaskar told India Today.Virat Kohli after innings defeat at Lord’s: We were outplayed and deserved to loseIndia are staring down the barrel of series defeat after their meek surrender in the second Test at Lord’s which they eventually lost by an innings and 159 runs inside four days.Apart from Kohli, no other Indian top-order batsman has managed to score over 100 runs in the series so far with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being the next-best Indian on the list of highest run-scorers.advertisementIndia handed humiliating defeat by ruthless England at Lord’sKohli leads the runs tally from either side with 240 runs at an average of 60 with one hundred and a half-century that he scored in the first game.With Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane struggling to find form, Gavaskar also said that India should be back at the nets, practicing for the third game as soon as possible.Virat Kohli suffers biggest Test defeat as captain”I can understand they have taken the day off today.. they are still licking the wounds of the defeat at Lord’s but they should have been planning to leave for Nottingham after today which would have been the last day of the Lord’s Test and practice from tomorrow,” Gavaskar told India Today.”But clearly as we have seen from the start of the ODI series, they are in love with London. You cannot get practice facilities in London as easily as you would in Nottingham – I hope they practice from Tuesday. And there should be no optional practice. Everybody needs to get down to practice There’s no such thing as optional practice when you are 0-2 down,” he said.Gavaskar said the morale in the Indian dressing-room would be undoubtedly low now but said there was no reason why they cannot not fight back if they played some really good cricket.However, he was happy that Kohli sounded positive about his chances of playing in the third Test despite battling a stiff back.”The morale of the team would be low if you are 0-2 down. If they play out of their skins, they can still win the next three Tests. It won’t be easy to beat England. But the good news is that Virat is confident of playing in the next Test,” Gavaskar said.(With inputs from Rasesh Mandani)last_img read more