India batsman Yuvraj Singh on Sunday was axed while Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami were rested from the Indian cricket team for the five-match One Day International series and one-off Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey and Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur were included in the 15-man squad announced after a two-hour long selection meeting. Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal also got a call-up for the series starting from August 20. Left-handed batsman Suresh Raina, whose name was doing the rounds, was not included in Virat Kohli’s team.
Fully aware of spinners’ heavy workload during the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka, the team management and national selectors have rested the spinners. Umesh Yadav has also been given a break as his workload needs to be monitored.
A two-time World Cup winner and one of India’s finest limited overs exponent, the 35 year old Yuvraj’s place was always under the scanner.
After a 50 against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy opener, Yuvraj hardly did anything notable as his last seven ODI innings fetched him only 162 runs.
A senior BCCI official, who is privy to selection policy said that Yuvraj is no longer in contention for the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
“His batting has lost sting. He rarely bowls and his fielding has gone down a few notches. If we have to prepare a team for 2019 World Cup, we had to take a call now. In case of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, we still don’t have replacement but Yuvraj’s place has multiple contenders,” the official, who can’t come on record told PTI.
Yuvraj has scored over 8000 runs in 304 ODIs, apart from playing 40 Tests and 58 T20 Internationals.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s selection also indicates, he is in scheme of things for the 2019 World Cup in England.
Another player dropped from the squad that went to West Indies is young keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who has been replaced by KL Rahul, who is also a decent glovesman. Kedar Jadhav can also keep wickets.
Dinesh Karthik, who did a decent job in the West Indies was also dropped since he was picked as Manish Pandey’s replacement.
Jasprit Bumrah makes a comeback after much needed rest while rookie Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur has also been included in the side.The spin department will be relatively young with left-arm spinner Axar Patel and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal to support chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
Fit again India A captain Pandey has been recalled after leading the side to tri-nation series win in South Africa. He scored 307 runs in five games and was dismissed only once.
There were rumours that Virat Kohli wouldn’t be playing the ODI series but the Indian captain put all those to rest on Friday. “Who said I am not playing? I don’t know where this came from, but I have no problems in playing,” Kohli answered to a query on team selection during a press conference.
The five-match ODI series begins on August 20 at Dambulla and the last one is on September 3 at Colombo. The only T20I will be played on September 6.
Indian team for ODIs and one-off T20I: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice captain), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.