Kohli not experimenting with opening combination

India's captain, Virat Kohli, spoke about tackling Rangana Herath, opening combination and much more ahead of the first Test at Galle on Tuesday.

Virat Kohli with head coach Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma on the eve of the first Test.   -  AFP

India's captain, Virat Kohli, spoke about tackling Rangana Herath, opening combination and much more ahead of the first Test at Galle on Tuesday.

On the opening combination:

We only have two more openers. Rohit has never opened in Test cricket and we don't see that kind of experiment happening here because we have specialist openers in the team and they will obviously be starting this game. KL is down with a flu but luckily it is not something serious. He just needs a few days to recover from that.

Rahul is an established player and he has done very well for us in all formats over the past year. He is a very solid player, but these kinds of scenarios present opportunities to other players in the team to step up and show what they are capable of.

They can have a solid performance and stay with the team for a longer period and get more chances to play in the future. So, our players look at these scenarios as opportunities and it is a great opportunity for Abhinav (Mukund) or Shikhar (Dhawan) to string in a strong performances again.

On Rangana Herath:

He is a quality bowler. Last time he dented us in a small chase and something that was a great eye opener for us. We worked on those things for the next two games and we were able to win the series. He played both the games, the ball was still moving, but our batsmen came up with the goods and we had counter-plans in place. So we understand what he brings to the table, we understand what needs to be done. Everyone is taking personal responsibility to plan their innings in a certain way and play bowlers according to how they bowl... We have come a long way from that tour.

On Hardik Pandya:

Last time, we felt we probably were a batsman short and the fifth bowler did not do much in the game. We have those options again, but we have great balance in the side as well. We have got a guy like Hardik Pandya, who is a wicket-taking bowler. Every game that he plays, on any surface, he has a knack of picking wickets. He has a great chance of playing as well.

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