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Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni rested, Rohit Sharma to lead India in Sri Lanka T20 tri-series

Rohit Sharma will lead India in the absence of Virat Kohli in the T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka also involving Bangladesh. MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are also not part of the squad

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2018 14:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,MS Dhoni,Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma will lead in the Indian cricket team in the T20 tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.(AFP)

Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian cricket team in the upcoming T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) resting several top names for the tour, including Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. A 15-member squad was named for the tournament where Bangladesh will join as the third side.

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There were a number of changes made to the squad from the one that was named for the tour to South Africa with regular skipper Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni among a list of big names that have been rested. Others in the bracket include Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.

Although Sharma has recently been going through a rough patch, he holds a perfect record as captain while leading the side in T20s. After Kohli made way on Saturday owing to a back injury, Sharma led the side in the third T20 against South Africa. He scored just 11 with the bat but managed to help his side emerge victorious, thus joining Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga as the sixth captain in history to win their first four matches as captain. He, however, had a forgettable tour in South Africa, having scored just 32 runs in three T20 games besides another 170 in six ODIs, including a score of 115.

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“We’ve kept in mind the workload and upcoming schedule while finalizing the team for Nidahas Trophy. 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,” chairman of selectors MSK Prasad was quoted as saying according to a statement released by the BCCI.

“Mr MS Dhoni was not available for selection as he had requested for rest. Others who have been rested include Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.”

The shuffle also means that there’s a fresh lease of life for cricketers like Rishabh Pant and Suresh Raina, who are yet to stem their place in the squad. While Pant has already bagged two caps for the national team, his inconsistency with the bat has been a key issue for which the Board has fallen back on veterans like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik on previous occasions across formats. Pant, however, had a good run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament this season, scoring 411 runs in 10 matches, including an unbeaten 38-ball 116; a blitz that made him the second-fastest to score a century behind Chris Gayle in T20 history.

India will lock horns with Sri Lanka in the inaugural game on March 6 before taking on Bangladesh two days later. All the matches are scheduled to be played in Colombo, with the final slated to take place on March 18.

Team: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj and Rishabh Pant (wk)

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First Published: Feb 25, 2018 12:40 IST