You can keep Virat Kohli out of the game, but can take the game out of Virat Kohli. On Friday, in the inconsequential Asia Cup match of the Super Four game against Sri Lanka, India captain Rohit Sharma made as many as five changes which included resting Virat Kohli in a bid to test the benched strength while also giving rest to those five players for the big final on Sunday against defending champions Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. But even as Kohli was rested, he remained the most trending player from the match on social media while also having a busy day at the ground.
Kohli, who scored a stellar knock of an unbeaten 122 against Pakistan a few nights back at the same venue in India’s first Super Four game in the tournament, was benched for the game against Bangladesh. “We have made five changes. Virat, Hardik, Siraj, Bumrah and Kuldeep are out. Tilak makes his debut. Shami and Prasidh also come in. Suryakumar also gets a game,” India captain Rohit Sharma had said after winning the toss and opting to field first.
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Kohli was soon spotted in his training bibs in the dugout before seen serving as a water boy for the Indian team after Shardul Thakur had picked the second wicket of the match. Kohli had soon rushed into the ground with the water bottles for his teammates accompanied by Mohammed Siraj. But the part which went viral was Kohl’s hilarious act while running into the ground. It had immediately set social media on fire with some of the top handles also retweeting it and it was all the platforms could reflect throughout the duration of the Bangladesh match.
Minutes later, Kohli was seen fielding as well, in the eighth over, albeit for a few overs only. However, it was not known whom he replaced in the field as a substitute.
The former India captain was eventually seen all padded up towards the end of Bangladesh’s innings which sparked commentator Sanjay Manjrekar to hilarious mention the word “impact sub”, a rule that was implemented during the 2023 IPL season, wherein one of the players benched could be brought onto the field in place of other for bowling or batting duties.
Alas, there is no ‘impact sub’ rule in Asia Cup and Kohli was all padded up only to hit the nets in a bid to gear up for the all-important final on Sunday at the same venue. He was accompanied by a throw-down specialist and batting coach Vikram Rathour as he walked off the ground at the end of Bangladesh’s innings and spent a considerable amount of time at the nets.