Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan, who played important parts in India nearly pulling off a win in the first Test, will be missing the second Test here against Sri Lanka due to personal reasons but Virat Kohli said he had good enough team at his disposal to stay as competitive.
"Not difficult at all, because we pick a squad keeping in mind that all 15 are equipped with what is required to perform at the international level," he replied to a pointed question on Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan's absence. "These kinds of scenarios where two guys miss out for personal reasons is an opportunity for the guys who get games in these situations. I am not worried at all. I am very confident of the ability of the guys who will step in and they are looking at this as an opportunity to go out and do well for the team which everyone likes to do," he offered.
Virat was also impressed with Vijay Shankar who has been included in place of Hardik Pandya, who has sought rest from the first two Tests. Kohli indicated that the pace-bowling all-rounder is being groomed as a back-up for Pandya.
"He has been very consistent and he has earned his spot," Kohli said of the Tamil Nadu player. "We wanted to look at another all-rounder keeping in mind that's a very important aspect of the team going forward. Obviously, Hardik is in our scheme of things as our first all-rounder but we need to, obviously, find out more people who have that capability and whom we can groom and make as back-ups for all-rounder's slot, which is very crucial for us when we travel abroad. That is the whole idea of bringing him in and keeping him in the set up and making him familiar with what's going on here and making him understand what he needs to work on and look at his game as well."
Kohli, who had a good look at the pitch, said it was a "good wicket" for Test cricket. "The wicket is quite hard with a nice grass covering on it. So, the fast bowlers should be in play for the first couple of days, for sure, because of the bounce and the nice carry off it as well. From there on, the spinners will come into play. It is a pretty good wicket for overall Test cricket, I feel," he thought.