MS Dhoni Rested for ODI Series vs Sri Lanka, Virat Kohli to Lead

India have rested Bhuvaneshwar Kumar for the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli has been named captain as the selectors decided to give Mahendra Singh Dhoni a break.

Updated: October 21, 2014 22:45 IST
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Dhoni has been rested and Kohli has been named skipper.


India have rested Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the first three ODIs vs Sri Lanka and named Virat Kohli as captain. Wriddhiman Saha has been named wicketkeeper. Varun Aaron and R Ashwin are back in the side.

Frontline pace bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has also been rested.

Kohli, who has been touted as a future India skipper, had last led in Zimbabwe, leading the world champions to emphatic victories. Dhoni, who has been under pressure of a hectic schedule, was rested probably keeping in mind the upcoming tour of Australia and the World Cup that follows immediately. (Also read: Dhoni's Test captaincy fails to impress Aussie greats)

Dhoni, one of the busiest cricketers in the world, was last rested when India toured Bangladesh for a short ODI series earlier in the year. The team was then led by Suresh Raina as Kohli had also been given a break. (Must read: West Indies cricket faces cash crunch after India pulls the plug | 'WI players can participate in IPL')

Also back in the team is tearaway pace bowler Varun Aaron. The World Cup is expected to be played on fast, bouncy pitches and Aaron's pace will be crucial to India's campaign Down Under. Star off-spinner Ashwin, who was part of the Indian team in England, is also part of the 15-man squad. He was rested for the series against West Indies where the selectors decided to try Kuleep Yadav, the young left-arm chinaman spinner.

Ashwin is one of four spinners in the side. The others are Amit Mishra, Akshar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja. The pace department is expected to be led by Mohammed Shami in Kumar's absence. Aaron and Ishant Sharma, who came in as replacement for Mohit Sharma against the West Indies and retained his place for the Sri Lanka series, will also possibly play major roles.

There are no surprises in the batting department. Rohit Sharma, who is still recovering from multiple injuries, has not yet made a comeback.

Sri Lanka will play a five-match ODI series from November 2 to 16 after West Indies abandoned their tour of India over pay disputes with their board. Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad have been named as the five venues for the matches.

Schedule for ODI series vs Sri Lanka: Nov 2: Cuttack, Nov 6: Hyderabad, Nov 9: Ahmedabad, Nov 13: Kolkata, Nov 16: Ranchi

Squad: Virat Kohli(C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Murali Vijay, Varun Aaron, Akshar Patel

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