A stiff back forced India captain Virat Kohli to not take the field on the fourth morning at Lord’s. However, it is understood he will come out to bat, which might mean the niggle is not too serious.

Since Kohli’s is an internal injury, he has to wait out the length of time he was off the field before he can come and bat. If it had been external – like that of ball striking body – he could have been out immediately. That translates to a total of 37 minutes. With the Indian innings starting at 1146 BST, Kohli became eligible to bat from 1223 hours and was seen preparing to do so in the dressing room.

Even on day two, Kohli had been absent from the field for a long time during the final two sessions of play. He returned eventually, but his discomfort was evident in his walk and body language. On the fourth morning, Kohli did not do any warm-up stretches and when play started he was in training gear and not his Test whites.

India would definitely want Kohli to be available and fit enough to bat, keeping in mind the challenge of batting in conditions that are likely to be overcast in what will be a long, tough bid to save this Test over today and tomorrow. Kohli has been India’s best batsman so far, with 223 runs in three innings including a century and 50 at Edgbaston. No other Indian batsman has even got a 50 so far.

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