The senior selection committee is contemplating to rest Virat Kohli for the upcoming Nidahas Trophy, a tournament to celebrate Sri Lanka’s 70 years of independence. SportsCafe has also learnt that Rohit Sharma will take over the captaincy role with his fellow Mumbaikar Ajinkya Rahane as his deputy.
It has been a gruelling season of cricket for the Indian team and especially, the skipper, who has almost been part of every tournament that India participated in the last two years, with the only exception being the limited-overs leg of the home series against Sri Lanka. However, with a tough season of overseas cricket and the Indian Premier League looming, the senior selection committee has almost decided to give the talismanic No.3 a rest for the Nidahas Trophy that starts on March 6 in Colombo.
A source close to SportsCafe, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the selection committee will discuss these changes during their meeting and will take a final call on it. However, the committee will first consult with the Indian skipper before taking the final call on the same.
Selectors also want to give Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal and Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini their first chance in the series to go with Basil Thampi and Mohammed Siraj. Agarwal played a chanceless 111-ball 140 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final against Hyderabad and that might result in a place in the side. Saini, on the other hand, has made a name for himself by being a yorker specialist and was one of the major factors in Delhi’s success this season. It is also understood that one of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal will be rested from the squad and Ravindra Jadeja will get a look in.
The tournament will be kick-started on March 6 with the hosts locking horns with India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Apart from India and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh will be the third team in the competition. The final match of the tournament is scheduled for March 18.
In the last 5 IND vs SA ODIs, SA was bowled out twice, while IND was bowled out only once.
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