MUMABI: Stalwarts Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan were today ‘rested’ while Yusuf Pathan and Ashok Dinda staged a comeback as the selectors refrained from cracking the whip on non-performers who retained their places in India’s 15-member squad for the Asia Cup cricket tournament.
While the selectors insisted that Sehwag and Zaheer were ‘rested’ on fitness grounds, alongwith paceman Umesh Yadav, Sachin Tendulkar will get another opportunity to score his 100th international century as he was retained in the squad which will have a new vice-captain in Virat Kohli.
The national selectors, however, did not make wholesale changes in the squad that performed miserably in the ongoing triangular series and preceding Test series in Australia by retaining many of the players, like Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, who struggled throughout the tour.
Barring the inclusion of 29-year-old Baroda all-rounder Yusuf and Bengal paceman Dinda, 27, there were no major changes in the squad to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The squad was announced by BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale after a meeting of the selection committee here which lasted more than two hours.
Yusuf, who scored a century against Saurashtra with the help of 10 sixes and six fours in a Vizay Hazare match, and Dinda, who had an impressive performance in the domestic circuit, were rewarded with a place in the squad.
Sehwag, who has been going through a prolonged form slump having scored 65 runs from five innings in the tri-series for an average of just 13, was expected to be dropped, but chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said he was “rested” because of injury.
“Physiotherapist have advised that both Zaheer and Sehwag need to take rest as they have some injuries. It is an honest truth, the fact of the matter,” Srikkanth told reporters after announcing the squad.