Mumbai: Keeping the low-profile five one-day series against Zimbabwe in mind, the national selectors have picked up a squad comprising of new faces here on Friday to be led by Virat Kohli.
MS Dhoni has been rested due to the hamstring injury he incurred during the ongoing tri-series in the West Indies. The selectors also chose to rest Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.
The new faces to get a call-up are Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Parvez Rasool, Jaidev Unadkat and Mohit Sharma. While Murali Vijay is the only player to be dropped from the 15-member squad picked for the series.
The main focus for the selectors ahead of the meeting was whom to rest considering the amount of cricket India has been playing in the recent months. The pace attack looked jaded and it was a good decision on the selectors part to rest Ishant, Umesh and Bhuvneshwar, which gives Unadkat and Mohit to prove themselves at the international level. Rasool is the perfect example of a 'small-town' boy making it big at internatinal stage, as he will become the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play for India.
With Dhoni being injured, Gautam Gambhir was expected to make a comeback but Rahane was preferred ahead of the Delhi left-hander. But the note-worthy inclusion has been Pujara, who has proved himself in the Tests and has to show that he can play limited-overs cricket too, moreover his inclusion will give stability to the middle-order.
India will be playing five one-dayers in Zimbabwe starting from July 24 to August 3.
Moreover, the India A squad to tour South Africa from August 8 to August 24 led by Cheteshwar Pujara has also been announced. Due to their good show in domestic matches - Siddharth Kaul, Ishwar Chand Pandey and Shahbaaz Nadeem find place in the 'A' team.
India squad to Zimbabwe: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Parvez Rasool, Shami Ahmed, Vinay Kumar, Jaidev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma
India A squad to South Africa: Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Parvez Rasool, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Ishwar Chand Pandey, Jaidev Unadkat, Siddharth Kaul