Kohli rested, Pandey named in India squad for SL T20s

Virat Kohli was rested for the Twenty20s against Sri Lanka, and Manish Pandey, who impressed in the one-dayers against Australia, has been named to fill his absence. Pawan Negi, the Delhi spinner, has been named as an additional spinner.

Manish Pandey has played two Twenty20 Internationals, the last of which was in July last year in Zimbabwe.   -  Getty Images

Vice captain Virat Kohli, who topped the Indian batting chart in the recently concluded tour of Australia, was on Monday rested from the squad for the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka in February, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced in a release.

Delhi left-arm spinner Pawan Negi earned his maiden call-up to the India side. He used to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL). It was the only change made by BCCI’s selection committee to the team that beat Australia in a T20 series away from home recently.

Kohli is in the midst of a rich vein of form, helping India to a whitewash over Australia in a three-match T20 series, hitting scores of 90 not out, 59 not out and 50 to be adjudged the Man of the Series. His exploits helped him become the No.1 T20 batsman in the rankings, displacing Australia’s Aaron Finch.

The decision to rest him has been taken with an eye on the Asia Cup, to be hosted by Bangladesh later in the month and the World Twenty20 tournament in India from March 8. India take on Sri Lanka in the first T20 match on February 9 at Pune.

Mithali Raj will captain the women’s team both in the T20 and the One-day series against Sri Lanka. India will face Sri lanka in a three-match One-Day and a T20 series, beginning with a One-day match on February 15. The team recently defeated Australia 2-1 in a T20 series Down Under.

T20I Squad (Men's): MS Dhoni (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi.

T20 Squad (Women's): Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Harmanpreet Kaur, Anuja Patil, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sushma Verma, Poonam Yadav, V.R. Vanitha, Sneh Rana, Thirushkamini MD, Ekta Bisht, Niranjana Nagarajan.

ODI Squad (Women's): Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Harmanpreet Kaur, Thirushkamini M. D., Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sushma Verma, Poonam Yadav, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, R Kalpana, Niranjana Nagarajan, Preeti Bose.