Vizag Test: Will KL Rahul's entry lead to Gautam Gambhir's ouster?

Updated: Nov 21, 2016, 13:11 IST | PTI

Indian Test captain Virat Kohli yesterday declared fit-again KL Rahul as the team's No. 1 choice opener, putting paid to veteran Gautam Gambhir's chances of playing any further role in the ongoing series

Indian opening batsman Lokesh Rahul during a training session on the eve of the second Test match in Vizag yesterday. Pic/AFP
Indian opening batsman Lokesh Rahul during a training session on the eve of the second Test match in Vizag yesterday. Pic/AFP

Vizag: Indian Test captain Virat Kohli yesterday declared fit-again KL Rahul as the team's No. 1 choice opener, putting paid to veteran Gautam Gambhir's chances of playing any further role in the ongoing series against England here.

After the drawn first Test where Indian batting came under scrutiny in the second innings, Rahul was pulled out of an ongoing Ranji Trophy match against Rajasthan to be brought into the Indian team. With Rahul becoming an automatic choice, it seems to be curtains for senior pro Gambhir who made a Test comeback after more than two years.

"We had it pretty clear in our heads that KL is our number one choice along with Murali Vijay. He is fit at any stage, he comes back into the team and we are going to start with him. Be it pulling him out of a first-class game in between. It's within the rules and the regulations," said Kohli.

"We were waiting for him to recover as soon as possible. That's how the team combinations go, you go with what you think is the best for the team. Don't think we needed to think any differently to call back Rahul. We are glad that he's back in the side again. That was the whole idea behind it."

In Rahul's absence, Gambhir played two Tests with scores of 29 and 50 against New Zealand and 20 and 0 against England and Kohli said Gambhir "played really well in different situations".

Kohli said he would have no qualms exploiting home conditions which seem spin-conducive. "We caught up really well in last 14-15 months. In Test cricket, if you don't take your chances, the game is very difficult to pull back."

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