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Rahane to lead India for Zimbabwe ODIs, T20s; Dhoni, Kohli rested

Last updated on: June 29, 2015 15:31 IST
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Ajinkya Rahane

India's Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: Getty Images

Ajinkya Rahane was named captain of a second-string Indian team for the limited-overs' series in Zimbabwe next month, as the selectors decided to rest several seniors, including Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan and Ravichandran Ashwin were also given a break, while pacer Umesh Yadav was dropped after a poor showing on the just-concluded tour of Bangladesh.

He was demoted to the India 'A' squad that will participate in a tri-series against Australia 'A' and South Africa 'A', in Chennai and Wayanad in Kerala, from July 19.

Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Anurag Thakur said Team director Ravi Shastri will not tour Zimbabwe.

Interestingly, Rahane was named captain despite being dropped from the playing eleven during the Bangladesh ODI series.

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur (right) with chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil. Photograph: Manu Shankar/Rediff.com

Harbhajan Singh, who returned to the squad for the one-off Test in Bangladesh earlier this month, made a comeback to the ODI squad in place of Ravindra Jadeja, who was axed following a poor showing in the last few months.

Leg-spinner Karn Sharma and left-arm spinner Axar Patel are the other two spinners in the 15-member squad.

There were also comebacks for Robin Uthappa, Manoj Tiwary, Murali Vijay and Kedar Jadhav, who were on the fringes of the Indian team in the last few years.

Punjab pacer Sandeep Sharma and Karnataka's Manish Pandey are the two new faces in the team.

The team, which will play three ODIs and two T20 internationals, starting on July 10, will leave for Zimbabwe on July 7.

The Indians had a disappointing tour of Bangladesh, losing the ODI series 1-2, completing seven months of continuous cricket.

The selectors also picked the India 'A' squad, which will be led by Cheteshwar Pujara.

It will be batting legend Rahul Dravid's first assignment as the coach.

Harare Sports Club will host the ODIs on July 10, 12 and 14. The Twenty20 Internationals will follow, on July 17 and 19, at the same venue.

India's squad for Zimbabwe: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Murali Vijay, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Stuart Binny, Sandeep Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohit Sharma.

India 'A' squad: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), K L Rahul, Abhinav Mukund, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shankar, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Shardul Thakur, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Gopal, Baba Aparajith.

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