Chennai: World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batting ace Sachin Tendulkar and paceman Zaheer Khan were Friday rested for next month’s Twenty20 and one-day series in the West Indies.
Left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir will lead the 16-member squad with Suresh Raina as his deputy, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement.
“Dhoni, Tendulkar and Zaheer have been rested. They will be available for the Test series,” BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said in the statement.
India have been playing virtually non-stop cricket since October last year when Australia played Test and one-day series in the country.
Hard-hitting opener Virender Sehwag, suffering from a shoulder injury, has already been ruled out of the series that opens with a one-off Twenty20 international in Trinidad on June 4.
It will be followed by five one-dayers and three Tests. The Test squad will be named later.
Tendulkar is the world’s leading scorer with 18,111 runs in 453 one-day internationals with 40 centuries, while Dhoni led the country to the World Cup triumph last month.
Zaheer, who emerged as the leading fast bowler in the World Cup with 21 wickets, has so far taken 273 scalps in 191 one-dayers.
Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and injured fast bowler Ashish Nehra, all part of the 15-man World Cup-winning squad, were dropped.
Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma returned to the squad after missing the World Cup to bolster the pace attack.
Rohit Sharma, Subramaniam Badrinath, Parthiv Patel, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha also made comebacks following their impressive shows in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
The West Indies have won 54 of their 96 one-day internationals against India.
India’s T20 and one-day squad: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Suresh Raina (vice-capt), Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Subramaniam Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha.