Mumbai: The BCCI on Monday named Vidharbha batsman Faiz Fazal along with four other uncapped players in India’s second-string team for the tour of Zimbabwe, where Men in Blue will play three ODIs and three T20Is in June.
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The other uncapped players are Haryana spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Jayant Yadav, Karnataka opening batsman Karun Nair and Punjab middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh. KL Rahul, who has played five Test matches for India, was also named in the limited-overs squad for the first time.
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The significantly weakened team, which is full of youngsters, will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh despite their decent performances in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) have been ignored by the selectors.
Virat Kohli, who is nursing a hand injury, has been left out of the Zimbabwe tour, scheduled from June 11 to 20, along with Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashish Nehra, who is due to undergo a surgery.
"No one has been rested. No one wrote to BCCI or called us (to say) they were not available or they should be rested. It was the decision of the selection committee to pick a young side for Zimbabwe and another side for West Indies," selection panel head Sandeep Patil told reporters.
There was a heated exchange between a scribe and Shirke when the question was posed on how Kohli could play in IPL with an injury but has been advised rest for Zimbabwe.
"The report which we have from Indian team physio Patrick Farhart says he (Kohli) needs rest after IPL. I am talking about the report, we go by the report," said Patil.
Shirke intervened to say, "Let's not look at things that way. It's my request. He's one of our top performing players. There's a medical advice even in the middle of a tournament. Let's not put things upside down that he's available for IPL and not for country."
M S Dhoni (c), K L Rahul, Maneesh Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, Jaidev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal.