Kohli confirms availability of KL Rahul in 2nd Test

 Colombo, Aug 2: Fit-again opener KL Rahul is all set to make a comeback to the Indian team for the second Test against Sri Lanka starting tomorrow, skipper Virat Kohli announced today.

Rahul was out of the first Test due to viral fever and needed hospitalisation for a couple of days. Shikhar Dhawan used the opportunity to hit a match-winning 190 in the first innings while Abhinav Mukund hit a career-best 81 in the second innings.

In all likelihood, it will be Abhinav Mukund, who will have to sit out.

"KL Rahul has been our established opener. I feel one of the openers (Dhawan or Mukund) will have to make way for him because what he (Rahul) has done in the past two years for us has been very solid. He deserves to come back and start fresh in Test cricket again," Kohli said at the pre-match media conference. 

"We have a team meeting later on after practice and we'll be able to clarify that then. But yes, according to me, KL (Rahul) will definitely come back into the eleven," confirmed the skipper. 

In the previous Test series that he played against Australia, Rahul notched up 393 runs with six half-centuries in four Tests. Even in the warm-up game in Colombo against Sri Lanka Board President's XI, Rahul scored 59 runs. 

"It is very important to make Rahul feel at ease specifically because he played the practice game as well and he looked really solid. He has batted really well in the last couple of seasons for us. It is very important for us to make him feel that this is his spot.

"And it won't be changed because of unfortunate events that happen outside of the playing field or the injuries that you can't control," Kohli reasoned.

Kohli is confident that Rahul will come out stronger.

"That phase you have to come back, you need to get stronger. He has really stuck it out in that phase. It's been hard for him, we all know that, because he was batting so well and then he was out because of this.