New Delhi: Rohit Sharma, who donned the captain’s hat for the final T20I against South Africa on Saturday would once again lead the 15-member squad in the upcoming Nihadas T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka, scheduled to begin from March 6. The BCCI has decided to rest to regular skipper Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the tournament. Shikhar Dhawan has been named as Rohit’s deputy.
“MS Dhoni was not available for selection as he had requested for rest. 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,” said All-India selection committee chairman MSK Prasad.
Rohit had earlier had led India to victories in the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka at home last December. Among the other notable names to be rested are pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.
In Pandya’s absence, Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been included in the 15-member squad. Pandya’s form has come under question after a sublime 93 in the first Test match against South Africa. This rest would thus provide him with some time to recuperate and work on his game.
Baroda batsman Deepak Hooda along with Hyderabad quickie Mohammad Siraj too have made it to the squad, after they were part of India’s squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka. Dashing wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who had earlier led Delhi to the finals of the Ranji Trophy has been included in the squad.
But Mayank Agarwal, who has remained a consistent performer in domestic cricket this season hasn’t been named in the squad. “Mayank has not been selected because we are following a pattern. Any domestic performer will have to play India A before being considered for senior team selection,” a senior BCCI official said, as quoted by PTI.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan (vc), 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, Rishabh Pant (wk).