India’s cricket captain Kohli to undergo scans after hurting shoulder

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India captain Virat Kohli will undergo scans on his injured right shoulder after missing much of the opening day’s action in the third test against Australia, his team said on Thursday.

The 28-year-old dived in a successful attempt to stop a Peter Handscomb drive from reaching the boundary in the 40th over of the day, tumbling close to the long-on boundary.

“In his intent to save that one run, he stopped the ball and landed on his right shoulder when he rolled over,” said India’s fielding coach R Sridhar, who refused to speculate on Kohli’s fitness for the rest of the match.

“The impact was quite heavy because of the momentum he was carrying. There was shock on his right shoulder.

“The exact status will be known by tomorrow morning. He’s going to undergo some scans later today,” he added.

Kohli left the field clutching his shoulder, leaving deputy Ajinkya Rahane to lead the team in his absence.

Rahane’s subdued leadership was in stark contrast to Kohli’s firebrand captaincy but Sridhar was impressed how the India vice-captain responded to the challenge.

“He was taking advice from (Ravichandran) Aswhin and Ishant Sharma, the seniors in the team. It was quite democratic. Ajinkya did a good job there.

“In Virat’s absence, he kept the energy level, positioned himself in the outfield and made sure he was communicating well with the bowlers.”

Australia will resume day two of the penultimate test of the series on 299 for four in the first test at Ranchi’s Jharkhand Cricket Association Stadium.

Australia captain Steve Smith struck a cultured unbeaten century, signalling he has put the review controversy at Bengaluru behind him.

Team mate Glenn Maxwell celebrated his return to test cricket with a career-best 82 not out, his burgeoning partnership with Smith already worth 159 runs on the opening day of the contest.

Australia’s Steven Smith (left) celebrates his century. (Reuters)
Australia’s Steven Smith (left) celebrates his century. (Reuters)

Smith won an important toss and had little hesitation in batting first, something of a ritual on India’s low-bounce tracks, and Matt Renshaw led their brisk scoring with a boundary binge.

With an extremely fast outfield at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium hosting its first test match, Renshaw’s first 24 runs all came via boundaries as the tourists cruised to the 50-run mark in the 10th over.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja got the breakthrough in his first over when David Warner slapped a juicy full toss back to the bowler to depart for 19.

Renshaw looked good for his third fifty in the series before edging Umesh Yadav to slip, having played and survived an identical shot on the previous delivery. Renshaw’s fluent 44 included seven elegant boundaries.

Yadav trapped Handscomb (19) lbw with an inswinging yorker but Smith found an able partner in Maxwell, who eschewed his natural aggression, and played judiciously to justify his selection, replacing the injured Mitchell Marsh.

Known for his destructive batting which makes him a limited-overs asset, Maxwell showed tremendous self-restraint, taking 57 deliveries to hit his first boundary.

There were glimpses of his natural aggression as well, as when he hit Jadeja for the first of his two sixes to bring up his maiden test half-century.

Maxwell surpassed in his very first innings of the series the 48 runs that Mitchell Marsh had totalled in his four during the first two tests and the all-rounder is not done yet.

Australia also brought in paceman Pat Cummins, who is playing his second test after more than five years in the wilderness, to replace the injured Mitchell Starc.

India welcomed back opener Murali Vijay, who missed the tempestuous Bengaluru test with a shoulder injury.

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