The selection panel chaired by Sandeep Patil decided to rest MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Rohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav for the Zimbabwe Tour. Further, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was dropped and rightly so after a string of poor performances since the commencement of the Cricket World Cup.
No regular wicketkeeper has been named in the side, which means one among Robin Uthappa, Kedar Jadhav or Ambati Rayudu will keep wickets. Manoj Tiwary, Sandeep Sharma, Manish Pandey and Karn Sharma make it to the squad as replacements for the rested and dropped players.
Harbhajan, who recently made an impressive Test comeback (against Bangladesh in Fatullah), finds a place in the ODI squad after four years. The turbanator had last played a one-day international in June, 2011 against West Indies. Bhajji has 259 wickets to his name in this format and is the most experienced player in the side by a long way.
Chief selector Sandeep Patil said that the squad was chosen keeping the ICC World T20 2016 in mind. “Just like you, we were also not happy with India’s performance in Bangladesh. We have to move forward.”
Patil added that there was no discussion on Dhoni’s offer to resign. “Dhoni has only been rested. So don’t read much into Rahane becoming captain,” he said.
The India A squad, to be led by Cheteshwar Pujara, was also selected. The India A team will participate in a Tri-Series against Australia A and South Africa A to be held in India (Chennai and Wayanad) from 19 July 2015. This will be the first assignment for Rahul Dravid as coach for the India A side.
India’s squad for Zimbabwe Tour:
Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu (wicketkeeper), Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav (wicketkeeper), Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma.
Rested: MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin
Dropped: Ravindra Jadeja
India A squad: KL Rahul, Abhinav Mukund, Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shankar, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Shardul Thakur, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Gopal, B Aparjit.