All Hail! Ajinkya Rahane to Lead India for Zimbabwe Tour

Zimbabwe tour: Ajinkya Rahane to lead India; Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni rested. 

Published29 Jun 2015, 07:38 PM IST
Sports
2 min read

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh staged a comeback to the ODI squad after a gap of four years as a second-string team was on Monday named for next month’s tour of Zimbabwe with the selectors opting to rest most of the senior players.

Batsman Robin Uthappa also made a return to the ODI side, while paceman Sandeep Sharma and leg-spinner Karn Sharma were included in the team to be captained by Ajinkya Rahane.

Opener Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were among the senior players picked in the squad announced by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur after the selection committee meeting here.

Manoj Tiwary, who had been struggling with injuries for a some time, has been recalled into the side largely benefitting from the absence of the senior players.

The Indian team did not do well in Bangladesh, we felt the same. (But) we have to move forward and considering the domestic cricket to be played, we have picked this side, looking at the 2016 T20 World Cup.
– Sandeep Patil, Chairman of selectors

India had stunningly lost 1-2 to Bangladesh in the short series earlier this month.

The team comprises three specialist spinners in Harbhajan, Axar Patel and Karn Sharma, while the pace department will be spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Mohit, Sandeep Sharma and Stuart Binny for company.

We cannot say on long term basis but looking at Harbhajan’s performance in the last series, we feel that he deserves a chance on this tour. The selectors’ job is to pick the best possible combination. The rest is left to the team management. Once we select the team, it is left to the captain to make up the playing XI.
– Sandeep Patil, Chairman of selectors

On Rahane being handed the captaincy Patil said, “We are happy with the way his career is shaping up. He has been the most consistent batsman for India and we want to see his other aspects. So, we have given him this opportunity and we will keep backing him,”

India are scheduled to play three ODIs in Harare (July 10, 12 and 14) followed by a couple of Twenty20 Internationals (July 17 and 19).

India Squad:

Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma.

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