Kohli rested, Sharma to lead young India in T20 tri-series

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NEW DELHI: Opener Rohit Sharma will lead a young Indian side in next month’s Twenty20 tri-series in Sri Lanka in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli who has been rested, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) said on Sunday.

Kohli missed Saturday’s final Twenty20 against South Africa in Cape Town with a stiff back as India won the three-match series 2-1 which followed their 5-1 triumph in the one-dayers against the Proteas.

Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also rested, which allowed Delhi’s Rishabh Pant to join the squad as the second wicketkeeper, along with Dinesh Karthik.

The selectors also decided to leave out the pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah and named a largely young 15-member squad for the Nidahas Trophy, which also features Bangladesh, beginning on Mar. 6 in Colombo.

“We’ve kept in mind the workload and upcoming schedule while finalising the team for Nidahas Trophy,” selection committee chairman MSK Prasad said in a statement.

“The high-performance team has suggested that adequate rest should be given to our fast bowlers to help improve athletic performance, maximise rest and prevent injury.”

Wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav and all-rounder Hardik Pandya were also allowed a break following the tour of South Africa.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj and Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper)