Rahul Dravid Virat Kohli India A
India A coach Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli discuss a few batting nuances during a training sessionIANS

Virat Kohli, as he so often is, will be the cynosure when India A play Australia A in the second unofficial Test match in Chennai from Wednesday.

With the Test tour to Sri Lanka looming large, India's Test captain has decided to prepare himself for the tour to the Island nation by playing for Rahul Dravid's team against a strong Australia side.

The fact that the Chennai pitch will be similar to the ones in Sri Lanka will also help Kohli out, and getting as much batting time in the middle will be the mantra for the right-hander.

Kohli's form has taken a small vacation since the big hundred against Pakistan at the World Cup, and if India are to topple Sri Lanka in their own backyard, they will need a Kohli not just firing as captain, but a Kohli firing on all cylinders as a batsman as well.

For that, this unofficial Test will provide the 26-year-old the perfect platform, and, no doubt, everyone from an India perspective will want the captain to smash a hundred, while the Australians will be wary of the threat posed by the elegant batsman.

"I just think he is a very great player," Australia A all-rounder Marcus Stoinis said. "It is going to be a really good test for us. We are excited that he is playing.

"I don't think it will get spicy, but who knows once you get into the field? It is always going to be competitive. He is a competitive person. We are competitive people. I think there is a lot of respect there."

The first unofficial Test between the two teams ended in a draw, after both sides failed to take a stranglehold of the game. From India's perspective, the spinners – Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra – impressed, while the batsmen could not really make a full impression, the kind a hundred gets you.

KL Rahul made a 96 in the first innings, while Cheteshwar Pujara made 55 and a 42, but no batsman could really grasp the opportunity, and say "hey selectors, watch me, I deserve a place in the India Test XI."

With Kohli playing, one of the batsmen would have had to sit out, and it would have been between Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer. However, Rahul has been rested for the match, opening up a slot for Kohli, with Pujara opening in the Karnataka batsman's place.

India A vs Australia A Second Unofficial Test Schedule: 29 July-1 August (9.30 am IST, 5 am BST, 12 am ET, 3 pm AEDT) at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Also read