Ind vs SL 2nd test: Ravi Shastri non-committal about KL Rahul’s participation, hosts recall Thirimanne – Shastri didn’t give a direct answer to question about KL Rahul playing the second test.
Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul run ahead of their second test match. (Reuters)
India opener KL Rahul was back in the nets today after missing out the first Test due to viral fever but chief coach Ravi Shastri kept cards close to his chest about the stylish right-hander’s participation in the second Test.
“Rahul is (doing) good. We are watching him closely. He went through some tough times and he was in the hospital for 2-3 days. Obviously, it has taken a lot out of him. “So we have to be very careful how we treat him, we are watching him very closely and he is getting better by the day,” Shastri said during media interaction ahead of the second Test beginning Thursday.
Like skipper Virat Kohli, Shastri also spoke in same vein about having a good bench strength, now that Rahul is getting fit and Abhinav Mukund keeping himself in the hunt with an 81 in the second innings of the first Test. “When I have good bench strength, it is very good. When there is competition for places even better because that’s healthy competition and a good headache to have. Where you know if someone is injured someone else is ready and that is across all formats.
“It is very good but ideally you want your core team to be fit and on the park as often as possible,” said Shastri.
SL announces squad:
Sri Lanka today recalled left-handed batsman Lahiru Thirimanne in its squad for the second Test against India as a replacement for injured Asela Gunaratne. It’s more than a year that Thirimanne is out of the Sri Lanka’s Test team as he has not featured in the traditional format since playing against England in June 2016. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan has also been added to the squad while seamer Suranga Lakmal has been ruled out due to a back issue.
Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara are now the only frontline quicks in Sri Lanka’s squad and Sandakan is now fourth frontline spinner in contention for a spot in the playing XI. Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Malinda Pushpakumara. are the spinners in the squad.
The match will also see the return of captain Dinesh Chandimal, who had missed the first game due to pneumonia. Thirimanne has played 26 Tests so far, scoring 1056 runs with highest score of 155 not out against Bangladesh at Galle in March 2013.