KL Rahul
Will India drop KL Rahul for Delhi Test?IANS

With a cushion of 1-0 lead, India are set to take on Sri Lanka in the third and final Test of the series from tomorrow (December 2) at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. The hosts start as favourites again but they have a selection issue to address ahead of the match.

While teams don't often change their winning combination, Virat Kohi-led side might have to alter this in Delhi as they look to wrap up the series 2-0.

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For the second Test in Nagpur, which the hosts won by an innings and 239 runs, opener Shikhar Dhawan had opted out due to personal reasons. Now he is back in the squad.

The left-hander might return to the Playing XI as it is his home ground in Delhi. India have three openers in the squad. Murali Vijay and KL Rahul did the job in Nagpur.

Vijay was not part of the first Test in Kolkata where Rahul and Shikhar opened. Rahul was out for a duck off the first ball of the match. However, he came back strongly in the second essay, scoring 79. In Nagpur, in the only innings India batted, Rahul failed, dismissed for seven.

Tamil Nadu right-hander Vijay, who replaced Shikhar in Nagpur, made the most of the opportunity to hit 128. It will be difficult for the team management to leave out a batsman who has made a hundred in the previous game.

Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri and others will be keen to get Shikhar back in the team at the expense of Rahul. It will be unfair for the Karnataka youngster to face the axe but the team management might not have any other option.

Shikhar had scored eight and 94 in the opening Test in Kolkata. It will be a huge surprise if India opt to not play him in Delhi.

If Rahul is dropped for the third Test then the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should release him to play for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Mumbai, starting on December 7 in Nagpur.

India squad for the third Test: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Vijay Shankar.