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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Injured MS Dhoni ruled out of Asia Cup; Kohli to lead Team India

Injured MS Dhoni ruled out of Asia Cup; Kohli to lead Team India

Last updated on: February 20, 2014 20:10 IST

Mahendra Singh DhoniSo Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally gets to rest.

India's captain was, on Thursday, ruled out of upcoming Asia Cup due to a Grade 1 left side injury.

Virat Kohli, his deputy, will lead the side, while Dinesh Karthik has been named his replacement for the February 25-March 8 tournament, which includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and hosts Bangladesh.

Dhoni is under flak after the dismal tour of New Zealand, where Team India lost the One-day series 4-0 and the Tests 1-0 -- the latter defeat being the team's fourth successive reverse overseas -- following disastrous trips to England, Australia and South Africa.

The selectors had announced the squad for the tournament on February 11, but Dhoni's unavailability forced them to name Karthik, who recently earned a Rs 12.5 crore deal with Delhi Daredevils ahead of the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League, as a replacement.

As reported earlier, the 15-member squad includes Cheteshwar Pujara, who has played just two ODIs for India. He replaced Suresh Raina, who was omitted along with pacer Ishant Sharma.

Team India opens its campaign in the tournament against Bangladesh, on February 26. 

Dhoni's side failed to make the final in the last tournament, highlighted by Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th international hundred against Bangladesh in the group stage which India lost by five wickets.

Pakistan are the defending champions, having beaten Bangladesh in the final in 2012.

India's squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey.

Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni