The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Sunday named the Indian squad for Nidahas Trophy 2018 to be played in Sri Lanka. The T20I tournament also features Bangladesh as the third team. All matches will be held at R Premadasa Stadium from March 6-18.
Rohit Sharma will lead the 15-member squad and Shikhar Dhawan will be his deputy.
India will take on Sri Lanka in the opener on March 6. The tournament will follow a round-robin format in which the three teams play each other twice. The top two teams will lock horns in the title clash on March 18.
Besides Kohli and Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya too have been rested.
Tamil Nadu's Dinesh Karthik and Delhi's Rishabh Pant are the two wicket-keepers in the squad.
"We've kept in mind the workload and upcoming schedule while finalizing the team for Nidahas Trophy," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)'s All-India Senior Selection Committee Chairman M.S.K. Prasad said in a statement.
"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 said that Dhoni "was not available for selection as he had requested for rest".
Karnataka top-order batsman Lokesh Rahul has returned to the squad, as have Pant, Deepak Hooda and Shankar.
In the absence of pacers Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, the responsibility will be on Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur -- both were in the victorious team in South Africa. Mohammad Siraj and all-rounder Vijay Shankar are also medium-pace bowling options.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav too has not been picked. His place has been taken by Tamil Nadu teenager Washington Sundar.
Squad: 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 (wk)
With Agency Inputs
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