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Sri Lanka vs India 2017: KL Rahul set to return for Colombo Test

Virat Kohli all but confirmed KL Rahul's return in the pre-match press conference.


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Lokesh Rahul is set to play his first international game since March


What’s the story?

After a bout of high fever forced him out of the first Test, a fit-again KL Rahul is set to return for the second Test of India’s ongoing series against Sri Lanka.

Speaking to the media a day prior to the start of the Test, Kohli said that Rahul, a proven performer, deserves to make his way back in the side.

“KL has been our established opener. So, I feel one of the openers will have to make way for him. What he has done for us in the past two years is solid, and he deserves to come back and start fresh in Test cricket”, he said.

In case you didn’t know…

The 25-year-old Rahul was in prime form in the latter half of 2016, scoring a career-best 199 against England, a knock that kickstarted a purple patch until March 2017. It abruptly stopped after the Australia series, when a shoulder injury forced him out of the IPL, and subsequently, the Champions Trophy.

His last five Test scores read: 90, 51, 67, 60 and 51*.

The heart of the matter

Talking about the team composition for the second Test, Kohli all but confirmed Rahul's inclusion, saying that they already have a combination in mind for the game. Kohli had recently called Rahul a ‘champion player’, conceding that choosing two out of the three available openers is a tricky situation.

He added that a team meeting is supposed to be held after practice, and a clarification will only made subsequently, but according to the Indian captain, ‘KL Rahul will definitely come back’.

What’s next?

Rahul will most likely return to the side for the second Test to be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo, starting August 3. Rahul has previously scored a century in the same city, during India’s tour in 2015.

Author’s take

The opening conundrum has been a happy headache for the Indian team: the fact that someone like Shikhar Dhawan, who was heading to Australia before he got an SOS call, managed to blaze a career-best 190, augurs well for the side’s future.

That said, it can’t be taken for granted that he will open with Rahul: Abhinav Mukund also made his presence felt with an 87 in the second innings, making the muddle all the more complex for Kohli and Ravi Shastri to solve.

Also read: The captain is the ultimate boss, says Ravi Shastri

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