25 February, Mumbai
Captain Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya have been rested as India on Sunday named their squad for the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 cricket tri-series slated to take place in Colombo from March 6.
While opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will assume roles of captain and vice-captain respectively, Tamil Nadu’s Dinesh Karthik and Delhi’s Rishabh Pant are two options for wicket-keeping.
The T20I tournament also features Bangladesh as the third team. All matches will be held at the R. Premadasa Stadium in the Sri Lankan capital.
“We’ve kept in mind the workload and upcoming schedule while finalizing the team for Nidahas Trophy,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s All-India Senior Selection Committee Chairman M.S.K. Prasad said in a statement.
“The high-performance team has suggested that adequate rest should be given to our fast bowlers to help improve athletic performance, maximize rest and prevent injury.”
Prasad said that Dhoni “was not available for selection as he had requested for rest”.
Karnataka top-order batsman Lokesh Rahul has returned to the squad, as have Pant, Deepak Hooda and Shankar.
In the absence of pacers Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, the responsibility will be on Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur — both were in the victorious team in South Africa. Mohammad Siraj and all-rounder Vijay Shankar are also medium-pace bowling options.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav too has not been picked. His place has been taken by Tamil Nadu teenager Washington Sundar.
The squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (Vice-Captain), Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk).