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Kohli confirms Rahul return in Colombo

Virat Kohli said KL Rahul has earned the right to come straight back into the Test side in Colombo.

KL Rahul - cropped
India batsman KL Rahul

India opener Abhinav Mukund looks set to be dropped for the second Test against Sri Lanka after Virat Kohli confirmed that KL Rahul will return in Colombo.

Rahul missed the tourists' resounding first-Test victory in Galle last week after being laid low by a viral fever.

His absence opened the door for Mukund, who struck a Test-best 81 in the second innings after fellow-opener Shikhar Dhawan made an imperious 168-ball 190 in the first.

Kohli said the India selectors had been left with a "massive headache" with such an embarrassment of riches at the top of the order, but the India captain stated that Rahul will regain his place.

"KL has been our established opener. I feel one of the openers [from the Galle Test] has to make way," Kohli said.

"What he has done for us in the past two years has been very solid and he deserves to come back in and start fresh in Test cricket again.

"We have a team meeting later on after practice, so we will be able to clarify that then but yes KL, according to me, will definitely come back."

Kohli said it will not be an easy decision to leave out either Mukund or Dhawan, but hinted it would be the less experienced of the two who will be disappointed.

"In a situation like this you need to sit down and think which player has had more impact on the game and who's been able to make that difference in the game straight away," Kohli said.

"It all depends on who's had a better game. Honestly, it's a very thin line, it's a very small margin but unfortunately that's how this sport goes sometimes."

The second Test gets under way at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Thursday.

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