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Fitness concerns could dent Kohli’s Surrey plans: Reports

Indian skipper Virat Kohli‘s plan of a Surrey stint ahead of the five-Test series against England is set to be hampered by a back injury as reported on Thursday (May 24). Reports suggest that the star batsman has sustained a herniated disc (a slip disc condition) owing to the excessive workload over the past 12 months.

Kohli played all the nine Tests that India featured in between June 2017 to May 2018. He also took part in 29 of the 32 One-Day Internationals and nine of the 18 T20Is played in 12 months, overall featuring in 47 of the 59 international games that India partook in.

Kohli was already skipping Afghanistan’s maiden Test after having committed to Surrey for the month of June for at least six matches.

The 29-year-old was extremely keen to play for Surrey and had expressed his excitement about the opportunity on various platforms. Having struggled on his last tour to England, during which he scored only 134 runs, averaging a meek 13.4, the County stint would have served as the perfect platform to acclimatise to the foreign conditions. On signing the dotted line last month, Kohli had mentioned, “It has long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I am thankful to Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity to join them during their 2018 season. I can’t wait to get to the Kia Oval.”

However, Kohli’s workload issues do not come as big surprise. The Indian captain had cited concerns earlier this year and the selection committee had duly recognised the same by resting him for the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy played in March in Sri Lanka. He had then mentioned, “Physically, I had a few niggles, I am just getting over those. The workload has started to disagree (taking a toll) with me a little bit. I have to be very careful about how I go forward with my body, my mind, my cricket.”

He had also noted that the timely break would help him prepare for the challenges ahead. “Times like these are important going ahead. I am enjoying it. I do not think I am missing out on anything, because my body really needed this. I have started to listen to my body.”

India have a packed cricketing season ahead, starting with the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June. That will be followed by a two-match T20I series against Ireland in Ireland, before a two-month tour of England where they will play three T20Is, three ODIs and five Tests.

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