Virat Kohli along with senior most player MS Dhoni was prominent among the players who have been rested for the T20 tri-series (Nidahas Trophy) in Sri Lanka, starting March 6.
Rohit Sharma will lead a second-string team comprising of the leading performers in the domestic (Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and IPL) circuit. Shikhar Dhawan will be his deputy in a side that has as many as six changes.
“MS Dhoni was not available for selection as he had requested for rest,” national selector MSK Prasad was quoted as saying in a press release.
Fast bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have also been rested along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya since they shared enormous workload on the South Africa tour.
“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,” Prasad added.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is also not in the Sri Lanka bound team.
Coming back in the team is the prolific wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, after a solid season in white-ball cricket including centuries in both national T20s and One-dayers.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar, pacer Mohammed Siraj, and all-rounder Deepak Hooda are back in the side after the home series against Sri Lanka. All-rounder Vijay Shankar is the replacement for Pandya.
Dinesh Karthik has been included as the first wicketkeeper while Pant may play as a pure batsman.
Rohit Sharma (c), 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.