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There were surprises galore in the Indian squad selected today for the short tour of Sri Lanka later this month, with the selectors opting not to recall Harbhajan Singh, axeing allrounders Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan, and instead looking for specialists as they revamped their approach to one-day cricket. Additionally, veterans Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan were recalled to the team, while Sachin Tendulkar opted to sit out of the series.
India heads over to Sri Lanka later this month for a 5-match ODI Series followed by a solitary T20 international, as the national team looks to begin the new season after having a well deserved rest following the conclusion of the Indian Premier League. The series kicks-off at Hambantota on Saturday, July 21st and will carry through till early August, also giving team India an opportunity to get a feel for the Lankan wickets before the ICC World T20 in the Island nation later this year.
A 15-man squad has been selected for the tour and will witness the return of the dangerous Delhi trio of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli at the top of the order with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni fitting into the lower middle order. Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma will be expected to fill the last spot while Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary will provide batting cover.
The selectors have opted for a 4-man pace attack with Zaheer Khan supported by Umesh Yadav, R Vinay Kumar and Ashok Dinda. Praveen Kumar is a noteable absentee from the pace line-up, while the fit again Varun Aaron will also consider himself unlucky to miss out.
Three specialist spinners have made the team with the selectors showing faith in R Ashwin and Rahul Sharma, while also giving Pragyan Ojha a rare opportunity in the one-day set-up. It appears that India may well opt to play 2 specialist spinners right through the ODI series rather than looking at bits and pieces cricketers to make up the numbers.
Team India: MS Dhoni (capt), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, R Vinay Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Rahul Sharma, Zaheer Khan.
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