MUMBAI (Reuters): Opening batsman Virender Sehwag and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan returned to India’s limited overs squad for the Sri Lanka tour but Sachin Tendulkar made himself unavailable, the country’s cricket board said on Wednesday.
Sehwag, Zaheer and fast bowler Umesh Yadav were rested during the four-nation Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March, which Pakistan won by beating the hosts in the final.
Tendulkar, who became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries during the same tournament, opted out of the Sri Lanka tour, which begins later this month and takes in five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international.
“We wanted to have the best team possible. Of course, Sachin Tendulkar is not available (for selection) and he will be starting off from the New Zealand series,” chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth told reporters.
“We have selected the best available team and hope this season starts with a bang.”
Tendulkar, 39, recently became India’s first active sports person to be nominated as a member of parliament and is selective when it comes to playing 50-over matches.
He does not feature in Twenty20 internationals.
New Zealand will play two tests and two Twenty20 internationals in India later this year while England will tour for four tests, two Twenty20s and five one-dayers.
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha was selected ahead of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the 15-man squad to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Ojha’s last appearance for India in a one-day international was two years ago.
Batsman Virat Kohli was named as Dhoni’s deputy despite the return of Sehwag.
Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, R. Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma.