Team India captain Virat Kohli has made it pretty clear that either Shikhar Dhawan or Abhinav Mukund have to miss out the 2nd Test in order to accommodate KL Rahul in the Playing XI. Rahul missed the opening encounter due to a flu and is all set to make his return in the 2nd Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
In the pre match press conference, Kohli said that KL has been India’s establish opener in the longest format for a long time now and has done every possible thing to force his way into the XI despite impressive performances from both Dhawan and Mukund in the opening Test.
“KL has been our established opener so, I feel one of the openers will have to make way for KL because what he has done in the past for us is solid and he deserves to come back and start fresh in Test cricket again,” Kohli said at the press conference ahead of the 2nd Test in Colombo.
Rahul was India’s leading run scorer in the test series against Australia and notched up 6 half-centuries during the 4 match series. Though he couldn’t convert his start into big ones, his fifties were enough to help India snatch the series narrowly by a 2-1 margin. He scored consistently especially when the star-studded batting line-up comprising of Kohli, Pujara and Rahane failed to make their mark.
He battled through shoulder pain which was quite evident during most of his innings in the Test series against Australia. He then flew to London for a surgery following the Test series and missed the subsequent IPL and the Champions Trophy. It was a huge opportunity for Rahul to play his 1st ICC tournament but destiny had something else in store for him.
He was all set to make his comeback in the opening Test but fever forced him out of the XI and Abhinav Mukund made a comeback. Dhawan who scored a brilliant 190 in the opening Test is expected to retain his place and Mukund might face the axe despite scoring a well composed 81 in the 2nd essay.