Sri Lanka in India 2009-10

Ishant Sharma and Dinesh Karthik called up

Cricinfo staff

December 19, 2009

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Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni added 156 for the second wicket, India v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Rajkot, December 15, 2009
Virender Sehwag will lead India during MS Dhoni's ban © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of India
Teams: India

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik have been included in India's squad for the third and fourth ODIs against Sri Lanka. The changes have been made after Sreesanth contracted swine flu and MS Dhoni was banned for two ODIs because of a slow over-rate in Nagpur.

Karthik is likely to take Dhoni's place in the XI for the matches in Cuttack and Kolkata while Virender Sehwag will lead the side. Yuvraj Singh, who missed the first two ODIs, because of a finger injury and illness, has been retained in the team.

The challenge for Sehwag and Karthik will be to replace a successful captain and the world's best ODI batsman, not only according to ICC's rankings, which he has hegemony over, but also because of the variety of roles Dhoni plays. He has also been the in-form batsman for India in this series. In the first match, in Rajkot, he promoted himself after a strong start and didn't let the run-rate come down in the middle overs, scoring 72 off 53 balls. In Nagpur, Dhoni came in at 81 for 3 and his century was instrumental in India's utilising the Powerplay overs and reaching 300.

The last one-dayer Dhoni missed was in 2007, against South Africa in Ireland, when he was down with viral illness. Since he became the ODI captain later that year, Dhoni rested during the Test leg of the Sri Lanka tour, but made sure he was there to play the one-dayers. Since he became the full-time captain, Dhoni missed just one international, the Napier Test earlier this year, because of back trouble. Sehwag, who led India then, was criticised for letting the game drift when Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor put on a big partnership. Dhoni the batsman was missed too: following on, Gautam Gambhir had to play out of his skin to help India force a draw.

Since then, Sehwag has said India need to groom a younger man as future captain, which makes sense because Sehwag is older than Dhoni. The selectors have not identified a designated vice-captain, but Sehwag has relinquished the position. Sehwag, however, also said he would be there to take on the leadership role in contingencies, which is where India find themselves now.

Squad: Virender Sehwag (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Sudeep Tyagi, Pragyan Ojha.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Tour Results
India v Sri Lanka at Delhi - Dec 27, 2009
No result
India v Sri Lanka at Kolkata - Dec 24, 2009
India won by 7 wickets (with 11 balls remaining)
India v Sri Lanka at Cuttack - Dec 21, 2009
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India v Sri Lanka at Nagpur - Dec 18, 2009
Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
India v Sri Lanka at Rajkot - Dec 15, 2009
India won by 3 runs
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