Mumbai: The BCCI selection committee Saturday decided to rest India skipper Virat Kohli while handing over captaincy to Rohit Sharma for the Asia Cup, taking place barely four days after a gruelling tour of England. The selectors have also added Rajasthan left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed in the 16-member team.
While the fifth and final Test against England is scheduled to be held from September 7-11, the Asia Cup is starting in the UAE from September 15.
The notable exclusions from the squad that played the last series against England include veteran Suresh Raina, middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, seamer Siddarth Kaul and fast bowler Umesh Yadav.
Raina and Iyer have been replaced by Ambati Rayudu, who has now cleared the YoYo Test and all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who has completely recovered from his hamstring surgery.
In the case of Kohli, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said that the skipper’s workload management is paramount as he had issues with back injury in the earlier Tests in England this summer.
“Considering the workload, we have given him (Kohli) rest. He has been playing continuously for quite some time. He’s on the road from the IPL. So that is why looking at the workload we have given him rest,” Prasad said at a media conference.
Khaleel, a 20-year-old from Rajasthan’s Tonk has played 17 List A matches, taking 28 wickets at an economy rate of 4.74.
He is nippy with an ability to hustle the batsmen and Rahul Dravid has been mentoring him since the 2016 U-19 World Cup. He was with India A during the tour of England recently.
“Yes there are 2-3 slots that we are yet to finalise. One is a left handed seamer’s slot where we are looking at Khaleel,” Prasad added.
However, the notable omission has been the case of opener Mayank Agarwal who has who has scored more runs across formats than anybody in Indian domestic cricket and A team matches. Prasad assured that his chance will come sooner than later.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed.