Virat Kohli to make debut against Sri Lanka in Tests

When India last won a Test series in Sri Lanka, the 26-year- old batsman was a 5-year-old kid.

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India will play the first Test against Sri Lanka on August 12 © Getty Images

What if I told you that the upcoming three- Test series against Sri Lanka will be Virat Kohli’s first outing against Lanka in whites? Yes! It is true. The Indian Test skipper will be facing the neighbours for the first time in a Test match. Not many get to make their debut against a team as a captain. To add more to it, it is interesting to know that when India last won a Test series on the island, the 26-year- old batsman was a 5-year-old kid. Kohli, who is in news often making and breaking records is handed another golden opportunity to etch his name in the books of history: if India go on to win the series that will take place from August 12 to September 1, Kohli will be the first Indian captain to win a series in the island nation so after Mohammad Azharuddin, who had led team India to a 1-0 series win in 1993. Sakshi Gupta writes further on him. READ:  India’s tour game an early indicator of things to come

There is no doubt that Kohli has the potential to lead India to a historic win. He led India for the first time in the first Test against Australia in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15 when MS Dhoni pulled out. He led with panache, demonstrating that the future of Indian Test cricket is in safe hands. Although India went on to finish on the losing side, Kohli’s captaincy skills were the topic of discussion. Every team needs a leader who can lead the side from the front, and it was exactly what Kohli had done. His 279-ball 141 reflected the patience and hunger in him and these characteristics will be very important when he will go on the field as a full-time Test captain on August 12.

The batsman’s choice to play for India A in the recently-concluded second unofficial “Test” against Australia A was evident for his commitment towards his duty. With his form not being the best, the decision is proof enough that Kohli is not taking the tour of Sri Lanka for granted. The move to play for India A turned out to be more helpful because the team is coached by India’s one of the best Test cricketers, Rahul Dravid.
“It is great. It is fantastic that Virat wants to come and play. In fact, he spoke to me almost three weeks ago wanting to play at least one match in the series. It is nice that he is very keen to play and prepare himself for the Sri Lanka tour. He wants match practice and we are happy,” Dravid said in a recent interview. A lot of players from India A have been chosen for Sri Lanka tour; it is always good for the captain to get well comfortable with his players prior to the series. READ: Rangana Herath must bounce back against India for Sri Lanka’s benefit

The previous tour of Bangladesh where India had played one Test match was a forgettable one for Kohli, who managed just 14. He should look back at his outstanding outing in Australia to for motivation. He had finished as the second-highest run-scorer in the series behind Steve Smith with 692 runs with four excellent tons. There is no reason for him to not pull off an encore against Sri Lanka: after all, in the shorter formats, he has over 2,000 runs against them at 57 at a strike rate of 90!

(Sakshi Gupta is a sports fanatic, enthusiastic and the mantra of her life is “Do only that what you enjoy”. She can be followed on Twitter @sakshi2929)

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