The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a 15-member India squad for the upcoming three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli, who was the hero of the recently concluded T20 series against Australia, scoring 199 runs, has been rested, while Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan have been dropped from the T20 side that defeated Australia 3-0.
India are set to face Sri Lanka in a three-match T20 series from 9 February. The squad announced on Monday also features Delhi left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, who has never played for India so far despite decent performances for Chennai Super Kings in IPL.
The spinner has found a place in the team primarily after some impressive performances in domestic cricket. Negi could play an important role as an all-rounder, which has has always been a cause of need in Dhoni's team. He will battle for the all-rounder's spot with Ravindra Jadeja.
Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who missed the T20 series against Australia due to injuries, have been brought back into the side. The duo is expected to strengthen the side further as the Men in Blue will be eager to come up with another quality performance in the T20 format and defeat Sri Lanka.
Manish Pandey's century in the final ODI in Sydney against Australia has helped him find a slot in the India team. Kohli must have been rested to keep him afresh for the upcoming Asia Cup and the World T20. India needs Kohli and some other senior players to be fresh for the two important series coming up in February and March. Hence, one should not be surprised if some players are rested for Asia Cup in February as well.
The team, which will be captained by MS Dhoni, is expected to defeat Sri Lanka on their home turf, also includes senior players like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra, who will be eager to represent the national side in front of home fans.
India's T20I Team: MS Dhoni (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi.