Virat Kohli, in a pre-match press conference, hinted at the fate of KL Rahul for the Test team. The Indian opener is most likely to return to the squad after recovering from an injury suffered during Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017 between India and Australia. On the other hand, Abhinav Mukund, who redeemed himself by scoring 81 in the second innings of the Galle Test, is likely to only warm the benches. Mukund had finally found his form in international cricket but might not get to continue fielding a good form because of competition in the squad for the top order.
The Indian skipper felt Rahul deserving enough to return to the team. He said, “KL Rahul has been our establish opener. One of the openers will have to make way for KL. What he has done in the past two years for us is very solid and he deserves to come back and start fresh in Test cricket,”
Though he kept the lid on the final decision, he said, “We have a team meeting after the practice and we can clarify more after the meeting but according to me, KL is definitely coming back in the top order,”
Kohli has kept the names of playing XI under the wraps ahead of the second Test at Colombo, he added, “There is a lot of grass. When you have a big squad there are a lot of possibilities. We don’t like to announce anything a day prior. It’s sort of a surprise for the opposition. Looking at the conditions we can go with anyone. Everyone is prepared to take the field,”
“Last time around as well we thought it was a great wicket for Test cricket. Batsmen had to apply themselves to get runs, bowlers were in the game throughout. So it is a wicket that you will get a result on and that excites us. That is something we look forward to as a team. This is the kind of wicket we like to play on where we have to chance to make an impact on the game throughout,” he concluded.