MS Dhoni has been rested for the first Test against Australia in Brisbane from December 4 to ensure his recovery from a right thumb injury. In his absence, Virat Kohli will lead India in the match.

Dhoni, who has been named squad captain and is expected to join the team for the three remaining Tests, has also been ruled out of the remaining two ODIs against Sri Lanka. Dhoni had earlier opted out of the first three ODIs, citing the need for a break to freshen up ahead of the Australia tour.

With Wriddhiman Saha expected to take the wicket-keeping gloves in Dhoni's absence, the Indian selectors have opted for another back-up, picking Naman Ojha. Ojha will travel with the team as cover for Saha only for the first Test and will return once Dhoni joins the squad.

Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, said the decision to rest Dhoni for Brisbane had been taken after consulting his physiotherapist and doctors. "Dhoni is suffering from a right-thumb injury. He is on the right track," Patel said. "It has been further decided to rest him for one more Test, so that everything is fine. It was suggested by his physiotherapist and doctors and after that this decision was taken. It is a right thumb injury."

Saha has long been Dhoni's understudy, but has played only two Tests and nine ODIs to date. When Saha got injured in England earlier this year, he lost his No. 2 slot to Sanju Samson who traveled with the team during the ODIs but did not get a game. Saha's replacement in the Test extras was Ojha.

Ojha, incidentally, had a good run for India A on their tour of Australia in July this year, slamming three successive first-class centuries in two games against Australia A. Ojha finished the tour with 430 first-class runs and was also added to the England squad after Saha suffered an injury. He extended his form with a score of 217 for Central Zone in the Duleep Trophy game against North Zone in Mohali.