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Kumble confirms: Rahul to be included in Team India's starting XI

November 15, 2016 20:39 IST

India's KL Rahul stretches during a training session

IMAGE: India's KL Rahul stretches during a training session. Photograph: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

India's chief coach Anil Kumble has made it amply clear that opener KL Rahul would be making a comeback into the playing XI against England in the second Test starting on Thursday.

With Gautam Gambhir looking out of sorts in the face of incisive swing bowling and bounce generated by England pacers in the first Test in Rajkot, the SOS call to Rahul, who played a couple of good knocks against Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy, was a giveaway that he was back in the fold.

"I think there is still two days left. Rahul is certainly available for selection and you would want Rahul to be in the starting line-up and that's the reason he has been included,"

Kumble said, indicating his preferred opener.

"He (Rahul) had an (hamstring) injury in Kanpur. He was not available for the Tests and ODIs against New Zealand. Now he has recovered and as a protocol, he played a Ranji Trophy game. Today he scored a hundred (106) and in the first innings he scored 70 plus (76 off 85 balls). Since the match is happening close to Vizag (at Vizaianagaram), it's good to have him in the squad and he is available for selection," Kumble elaborated.

When asked about the possible inclusion of Jimmy Anderson in the England starting line-up

India’s Umesh Yadav celebrates the wicket of Joe Root in the first Test at Rajkot

IMAGE: India’s Umesh Yadav celebrates the wicket of Joe Root in the first Test at Rajkot. Photograph: BCCI

Kumble praised the Indian fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami for their performances during the New Zealand series as well as the first Test against England despite not getting too many wickets.

"Fast bowlers did really well. Shami and Umesh bowled exceptionally well. They got the ball to reverse and trouble the English batsmen. Umesh and Shami not only bowled well at Rajkot but also against New Zealand, so did Bhuvi, all the fast bowlers are doing well."

Kumble also defended the bowlers, stating that it was a good wicket to bat on and six tons from either side proved that.

"If you look at the first innings, both teams batted nearly 160 overs. It was a challenge for bowlers to pick wickets. It was a good wicket to bat on. Save last day, those 60 overs, I don't read too much into batting. There were six Test centuries, two from our side and four from their side. It was a good Test match."

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