Sehwag, Zaheer rested
India have left out vice-captain Virender Sehwag and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan for the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, selectors insisting the out-of-form duo were rested and not dropped.
Veteran Sachin Tendulkar, chasing an elusive 100th international century, was included in the 15-man squad named Wednesday that also marks the return of hard-hitting batsman Yusuf Pathan and seamer Ashok Dinda.
Virat Kohli, who fired India to an impressive win over Sri Lanka in Hobart on Tuesday to keep them afloat in the tri-series in Australia, was promoted as vice-captain to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as India look to the future.
The 23-year-old smashed an unbeaten 133 off 86 balls as India chased down a stiff target of 321 in just 36.4 overs to fashion a bonus point victory by seven wickets.
India need Australia to defeat Sri Lanka in Friday's last league match to join the hosts in the tri-series finals.
"We have to look at the future and that's why Kohli has been made vice-captain," chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth told reporters in Mumbai.
Srikkanth said the decision to omit the under-performing Sehwag and Zaheer was taken after team management in Australia told the selectors that the pair, and fast bowler Umesh Yadav, needed a break.
"No one has been dropped," said Srikkanth. "We were told by the team physiotherapist that both Sehwag and Zaheer have suffered niggling injuries."
Sehwag, who last year became only the second batsman after Tendulkar to score a double-century in one-day cricket, averaged just 24.75 in Tests and 13.00 in the tri-series during the Australian tour.
Yusuf Pathan, elder brother of all-rounder Irfan, played the last of his 56 one-day internationals on the tour of the West Indies in June 2011.
Dinda, who has played five one-dayers and three Twenty20 internationals, forced his way back into the squad after a good showing in domestic cricket.
Defending champions India will join Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the 50-overs-a-side Asia Cup, to be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka from March 11 to 22.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.