By BV Swagath
A strong 15-man squad under the leadership of Virat Kohli for this month’s ODI tour of Zimbabwe has been named today by the BCCI. As expected MS Dhoni along with four key bowlers – R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav have been rested by the Selectors.
With Ashwin rested, the Selectors have opted to give an opportunity to Parvez Rasool, who becomes the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to get selected in the national team. The 24-year-old Rasool is an off-spinning all-rounder who was once arrested by the Bangalore Police during IPL 2009. Rasool was one of the two J&K cricketers to be detained after traces of explosives were found in his kit bag. The cricketers were later released after it was found out that they were innocent and the explosives were only fire crackers.
Apart from the tall off-spinner Rasool, the Selectors have rewarded seamer Mohit Sharma who bowled beautifully for the Chennai Super Kings in the last IPL. Mohit Sharma is a 24-year-old from Haryana who gets the new ball to move in both the directions.
The Selectors have given a recall to Saurashtra’s lanky left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat who had played a Test match in South Africa because of an injury to Zaheer Khan. Batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have also been picked while Murali Vijay has been axed following his lukewarm performances in the limited overs format of the game.
India Squad for Zimbabwe Tour: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Parvez Rasool, Mohammad Shami, R Vinay Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma