Rahul could not play first test match due to viral fever and needed hospitalisation for a couple of days. Leading to this, 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.
“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, K.L (Rahul) will definitely come back into the eleven,” confirmed the skipper.
Rahul has earlier proved his potential in the matches he played against Australia; he notched up 393 runs with six half-centuries in four Tests.
Virat Kohli further said, “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 looked confident about Rahul emerging stronger in the second match. He said, “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.