Bangalore: Virender Sehwag, the explosive opening batsman, and Zaheer Khan, the pace spearhead, return to the Indian limited-overs squad for the tour of Sri Lanka later this month.
Both Sehwag and Zaheer missed India`s last international assignment, the Asia Cup, in Bangladesh in March. The Asia Cup was on the back of India`s disastrous tour of Australia.
Sachin Tendulkar, who completed his 100th international century during the Asia Cup, has been rested from the 15-man squad which will play five One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International during the three-week tour.
Also missing out are Harbhajan Singh, the offspinner who hasn`t played for India since the tour of England last year, and Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan, the two allrounders who have been in and out of the team for a while now.
Ajinkya Rahane, the right-hand batsman, has been recalled mainly on the back of impressive performances for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League but had an ordinary tour of the West Indies with India A. Pragyan Ojha, the left-arm spinner, too returns to the ODI squad after nearly two years on the sidelines. Ojha, 25, last played an ODI in Dambulla in August 2010.
Alongside R Ashwin, the offspinner, and Rahul Sharma, the legspinner, Ojha forms a three-man specialist spin bowling component that could have a crucial role to play on the slowish surfaces at Hambantota, the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and Pallekele, where the six matches will be played.
The squad: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, R Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Rahul Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Manoj Tiwary.
BDST: 2121 HRS, July 4, 2012
Chanchal Ghosh, Newsroom Editor
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