Kohli misses South Africa Test as outside noise grows

Could a back spasm keep him out? And he has played with pain in the past. Sources also reveal that Kohli had been “hurt” by all the talk about him, the latest being remarks by selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma.

Kohli no longer is the all-powerful figure he was once in Indian cricket.   -  AFP

So Virat Kohli will not be playing his 100th Test in South Africa after all. 

Coach Rahul Dravid, on Sunday, had been eloquent in defending the India captain for the manner he led the team, connected with the boys and kept them insulated from all the chatter around him.

Dravid also spoke about celebrating Kohli’s 100th Test, at Cape Town, and added the Indian captain will be presented before the media ahead of the match. Kohli has not interacted with the press digitally even once on this tour.

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Under the circumstances, it was a massive surprise when K.L. Rahul walked out for the toss with Dean Elgar here on Monday. Rahul said Kohli had a “back spasm.” Shortly after the second Test commenced, a BCCI release stated: “Team India captain Virat Kohli had a spasm in his upper back this morning. He won’t feature in the second Test against South Africa.”

Normally it would be incredibly hard to keep Kohli away from an overseas Test, particularly when he has an opportunity to achieve a historic feat; India winning its first Test series on South African soil. He eats, sleeps and breathes for moments of success overseas, and is incredibly passionate about it.

Could a back spasm keep him out? And he has played with pain in the past. Sources also reveal that Kohli had been “hurt” by all the talk about him, the latest being remarks by selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma.

But then, it was Kohli who opened the Pandora’s box when just ahead of the team's departure from India, he spoke about a lack of communication when he was removed as the ODI skipper. Once he said that, there was bound to be a reaction.

Kohli is no longer the all powerful figure he once was in Indian cricket, someone who could even force a legend such as Anil Kumble out as coach. Mentally, beneath all the statements meant for public consumption, how is he handling his latest position within the hierarchy? And we may never know the complete reason for Kohli missing the second Test.

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