MS Dhoni wanted to tour Zimbabwe, help youngsters: Sandeep Patil

Mumbai, May 23: All-India cricket senior selection committee chairman Sandeep Patil on Tuesday said India's limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wanted to lead a new-look side for the Zimbabwe tour starting from June 11 and help the youngsters.

(Zimbabwe and West Indies tours: India ODI, T20I and Test squads announced)

Patil alongside BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke announced the squads for the Zimbabwe tour which comprises of three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and also for the four away Tests against the West Indies.

Star batsman Suresh Raina found himself out of the Indian cricket selectors' radar both for Zimbabwe as well as the Test side against the West Indies.

"Zimbabwe tour is looked as specially for the youngsters to try and test them. The young team which has been sent should give their best and perform. Nothing better opportunity than this. They will get ample experience from this. Dhoni himself wanted to tour Zimbabwe and help the youngsters," Patil said at a press conference here after announcing the squads for both tours.

(India-Zimbabwe tour schedule)

Many of the senior members including Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane have been rested for the Zimbabwe tour which will see the likes of Vidarbha opener Faiz Faisal, Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh and Haryana spin duo of Jayant Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal as fresh faces.

"We wanted variations in our bowling so Axar, Chahal, Yadav have found a place in the side. BCCI tournaments are very competitive and will be an exciting one for sure," he said.

When asked about why Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer was ignored for the Zimbabwe tour despite scoring more than 1000 runs during the domestic season, the selection committee chief said that the right-handed batsman's name came up but it was difficult to fit in all the players in a 15-16 member squad.

"We discussed Shreyas as well as others. We did consider their names but it is difficult to fit in all players in a 15-16 member squad," he said.

The West Indies-bound Test squad will be led by Virat Kohli while star batsman Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy. Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur is the lone new face in the side.


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