Young all-rounder Parveez Rasool created history, becoming the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to be named in the Indian team, as the selectors opted to rest captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and four other key players for the upcoming ODI tour of Zimbabwe.
The 24-year-old Rasool, who was in contention for national selection for a while now after a string of impressive performances, got the nod in the 15-member squad as the selectors chose to go in with a young team for the five-match One-Day International series, to be held from July 24 to August 3 at Harare and Bulawayo.
Prolific batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were also recalled to the squad, which will be led by Virat Kohli, who is currently captaining the team in the West Indies following a hamstring injury to Dhoni.
Saurashtra pacer Jaydev Unadkat staged a comeback while Haryana speedster Mohit Sharma, who impressed in the sixth season of the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings, was rewarded with his maiden call-up to the senior team, announced by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the selection committee in Mumbai.
Apart from Dhoni, pacer Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and spinner Ravichandran Aswhin were rested while opener Murali Vijay was dropped.
The selectors also decided to ignore veterans like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Yuvraj Singh.
"The team for Zimbabwe has been selected and we wanted to go in with a young side," Patel said, when asked about the likes of Gambhir and other seniors.
The team has seven specialist batsmen, three spinners and four fast bowlers and one wicketkeeper-batsman in Dinesh Karthik.
With Vijay dropped, the opening combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma is likely to be persisted with while the middle-order will comprise Kohli, Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Ajinkya Rahane.
The selectors also picked the India A team for the tour of South Africa which will be captained by Pujara. The India A team also includes Rasool and a number of other youngsters like Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Ishwar Pandey and Stuart Binny.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Parveez Rasool, Shami Ahmed, Vinay Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma.
India 'A' team for tour of South Africa: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Parvez Rasool, Shahbaz Nadeem, , Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Ishwar Chand Pandey, Jaidev Unadkat, Siddharth Kaul.
Image: Parveez Rasool