H S BEDI / New Delhi
Shikhar Dhawan will replace injured opener Murali Vijay in the 16-member Indian squad for the three-Test away series against Sri Lanka starting July 26.
Vijay hasn’t fully recovered from the wrist injury he picked during the Test series against Australia, and has been advised to continue his rehabilitation programme.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Monday named Shikhar Dhawan as the replacement for injured Murali Vijay in the Test team, which is scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka for a three-match Test series,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement.
“Vijay, who suffered a wrist injury during Australia’s tour of India, has complained of pain in his right wrist, while playing a preparatory match. The BCCI medical team has therefore advised that Vijay should continue his rehabilitation programme,” it added.
Dhawan, who hasn’t featured in the longest version of the game since the home Test series against New Zealand last September, has played 23 Tests and averages 38.52. He has four hundreds to his credit in an accumulated 1464 runs.
He however has been in good nick in the shorter format of the game, particularly in the ICC Champions Trophy in England, where he emerged the highest scorer with 338 runs.
He is expected to open the innings with Lokesh Rahul in the first Test against the islanders despite having Tamil Nadu southpaw Abhinav Mukund in the squad as the third opener.
After the Test series, India are scheduled to play five one-dayers starting August 20 before signing off with a lone T20 on September 6.
Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund