Virat Kohli justifies inclusion of Rohit Sharma in Nagpur Test

After a closely contested game in Kolkata, the action moved to Nagpur for the second Test between India and Sri Lanka. There was a lot of hype around the Indian contingent since two spots were up for grabs after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan were released from the squad. All eyes were on Indian skipper Virat Kohli when he walked out for the toss.

After having lost the toss, the Indian captain disclosed the team combination for the game. Surprisingly enough, the five bowler theory that the team had been talking about, went for a tizzy as the Indian team fielded an extra batsman. Kohli drafted in Rohit Sharma in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This was surprising since a like-for-like replacement was being expected in the game.

Virat Kohli also announced a couple of more changes in the team. Opener Murali Vijay came in for Shikhar Dhawan and pace bowler Ishant Sharma was brought in the playing eleven at the expense of Mohammad Shami. Kohli revealed that Shami had a bit of a niggle and hence was rested for the game. Well, both stars of Indian bowling of the Kolkata Test were out of the playing eleven at Nagpur.

While the exclusion of Shami was understood, the inclusion of Rohit Sharma for a bowler was something that many could not comprehend. Skipper Kohli then explained why the team opted to play with him. He noted that the management was keen on giving Rohit some match practice ahead of the upcoming assignments.

“Shami has got a bit of niggle in his left hip, so Ishant comes in place of him. Rohit comes in place of Bhuvi. We wanted to give him some game time. He has been around in the Test team for a while and he has not got many chances. And third one, Vijay obviously replaces Shikhar at the top,” Virat Kohli said at the toss.

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