Selectors overhaul ODI squad, Kohli gets maiden call-up (Lead)

August 7th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Mumbai, Aug 7 (IANS) Young Delhi talent Virat Kohli got his maiden call-up for the national team while Mahendra Singh Dhoni returned after a break to lead the side which went through an ovehaul for the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka here Thursday. The national selectors picked a 16-strong squad for the Sri Lanka series and another 15-member team for the Champions Trophy in Pakistan from September 11. Lanky pacer Ishant Sharma was rested for the Sri Lanka series, though he features in the Champions Trophy squad.

Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Piyush Chawla, Yusuf Pathan and Manpreet Gony were dropped from the side that played in the Asia Cup in Pakistan.

India lost two back-to-back finals - in the Bangladesh tri-series against Pakistan and then against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup title-clash in June.

The quintet of selectors also recalled Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh to the team.

Tendulkar missed the tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup to recover from a groin injury. Zaheer is back after a nine-month absence, having last played for India at home during their ODIs against Pakistan in November. Harbhajan returns after serving a ban during the Indian Premier League (IPL) for slapping S. Sreesanth.

Kohli, who led India to victory in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, also earned a place in the 15-member champions Trophy squad announced by the selectors. Ishant figures in the Champions Trophy, with Parthiv Patel and Munaf Patel being left out.

Dhoni returns to take charge of the team after pulling out of the ongoing Test series due to fatigue.

The selectors also decided against including Sreesanth who is out since the IPL where he had a side strain.

“He has to prove himself in domestic cricket,” BCCI secretary Niranjan shah said.

Kohli made his debut for Delhi in the 2006-07 season and led India to the under-19 World cup victory in Malaysia earlier this year.

Kohli scored 235 runs at 42.16 average in the tournament and then joined the Bangalore Royal Challengers for the IPL.

The Indian squad for the Sri Lanka series: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh (vice captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, R.P. Singh, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel.

Indian squad for the Champions Trophy: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, R.P. Singh, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma.

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