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Virat Kohli feels there is a healthy competition for the opening slot in the team

Abhinav Mukund too grabbed eyeballs with his excellent innings of 81, batting alongside the skipper Virat Kohli.

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Virat Kohli
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring a century. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

While Team India may have begun the Sri Lankan tour on an authoritative note, and no one would be happier than Shikhar Dhawan with the way the game panned out. Coming back to the Test side after a gap of almost one year, Dhawan scored a magnificent 190 runs, closely missing out on a double century.

He registered his highest Test score as he smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the park. Scoring 190 runs from just 168 balls with the help of 31 boundaries, Dhawan made a meal out of the islanders bowling attack. He was also awarded the man of the match for his stupendous knock.

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“I really enjoyed batting over here. I just watched the ball and backed my game. There is a very healthy competition for the opening spot in the side, and it keeps me on my toes,” Dhawan said after receiving the MoM and also seling his place in the team with that.

Surprise recall

Interestingly, the left-hander wasn’t among the original 15-member squad for the Sri Lanka tour. However, an unfortunate injury to Murali Vijay had the selectors bring in Dhawan back to the mix and he responded with a stunning knock.

Dhawan scored his second century at Galle. The previous was 2 years ago which was also his last Test hundred. Ever since he had been through a rough patch and even got injured for a while. Lokesh Rahul made the best use of the opportunity and ended up being the first choice opener for the remainder of the season.

Factors leading to recall

To begin with, his recent form in the Champions Trophy grabbed a lot of attention. He was the leading run-scorer of the tournament with an aggregate of 338 runs. He did so at a staggering average of 67.60 with a century and two fifties to his name. His performance might have surely propelled the selectors to announce him as Murali Vijay’s replacement.

Problem of plenty

Abhinav Mukund too grabbed eyeballs with his excellent knock of 81 in the second innings, batting alongside the skipper Virat Kohli. However with regular opener KL Rahul set to return for the next Test, he might well make way for the latter.

“One regular opener is not fit right now. I think it is a massive headache but a good one to have. At most, only 3 openers make the squad. It’s good to have guys scoring rather than guys not scoring consistently. I think the guys will understand how the dynamics of the team work,” Kohli remarked.

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