Kohli set for April 14 return

Virat Kohli confirmed through an Instagram post on Tuesday (April 11) that he would return to action for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League 2017 on April 14. Bangalore, who are currently being led by Shane Watson, have won only one of their first three matches, and their next game is against Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium this Friday.

Kohli injured his right shoulder while trying to stop a boundary during the third Test against Australia in Ranchi last month, and subsequently missed the final game in Dharamsala, which India won under Ajinkya Rahane to claim the series 2-1 and regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had said in a press release on April 1 that Kohli would undergo rehabilitation and his participation in IPL would be determined in the second week of April.

Kohli batted at the centre pitch during the practice session on the eve of Bangalore’s first home game against Delhi Daredevils last Saturday, but did not travel with the team to Indore for their third game against Kings XI Punjab, which they lost by eight wickets on Monday.

Kohli, one of Wisden India’s Cricketers of the Year and Wisden Almanack’s Leading Cricketer of the Year for 2016, was in terrific form in the last IPL. His 973 runs – a tournament record – which included four centuries had helped Bangalore make it to the final.

He carried that form into the international arena, scoring four double-centuries in as many Test series against West Indies, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh. He, however, was not in form against Australia, scoring 46 runs in five innings.

His return will be excellent news for a Bangalore side that hasn’t been on top of its batting game thus far. Bangalore received a boost on Monday when AB de Villiers played his first match of the tournament, having recovered from a back injury, and smashed an unbeaten 89 in a losing cause. With the two batting stalwarts back in the hunt, last year’s finalists will look for an improved performance over the next several games.

Source: Wisden India

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