Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma to lead; Virat rested
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Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma to lead; Virat rested

The national selection committee on Saturday decided to rest India skipper Virat Kohli while handing over captaincy to Rohit Sharma for the Asia Cup. Rayudu, Pandey and Jadhav will return to the team after a break.

The battle for Asia Cup will be taking place barely four days after finishing the England tour. While the fifth and final Test against England is scheduled to be held from September 7-11, the Asia Cup is starting in the UAE from September 15.

The MSK Prasad-led selection committee have recalled Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu and Manish Pandey to the One-Day International setup, while left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed is the only new face in the 16-man squad that will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the six-team 50-over tournament, getting underway from September 15.

Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was ruled out of the ongoing Test series in England, has fully recovered from his lower back injury and been included in the squad. Suresh Raina, Shreyas Iyer, Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul, who were part of the ODI side in England, are among the ones to miss out. Raina and Iyer have been replaced by Ambati Rayudu, who has now cleared the YoYo Test and all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who has completely recovered from his hamstring surgery.

While India could face Pakistan thrice (if both teams are in final) in the tournament, the selectors are looking at the bigger picture -- four Tests against Australia at the end of the year where Kohli would want to be in his prime. In the case of Kohli, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said that the skipper's workload management is paramount as he had issues of back pain injury.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed. ( UNI)