Mumbai: The BCCI on Wednesday announced a 15-man squad for the ODI and T20 tour of Sri Lanka that did not feature the name of Sachin Tendular who, says the chief Indian selector Kris Srikkanth, has opted out of the series.
"Of course, Sachin Tendulkar is not available and he will be starting off from the New Zealand series...There's no particular reason [for Tendulkar not playing]. He would obviously like to extend his career and obviously is looking at Test cricket in a big way, and I am sure he must be aiming at England and Australia who, I believe, will also come for a Test series," Srikkanth told reporters after a marathon selection meeting on Wednesday.
Interestingly, the team is without any allrounders, with Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan all ignored. On being quizzed about this, Srikkanth chose to duck under the question. "We should look at what has been selected, what is available."
The chief selector also hinted that the board is looking at Virat Kohli as the future India captain. "Virat Kohli has been appointed the vice captain. The idea is to have some continuity and also grooming [him as captain] from a futuristic point of view."
Srikkanth was pretty hopeful that the team would do well on India's season-opening tour of the island nation, where they are slated to play a five-match ODI series, followed by a one-off T20 international.
"We are looking forward to this particular season. Being the first tour of the season, we really wanted the best possible team. I think it is a very good side. Don't forget we have a strong batting line-up and good bowlers, Zaheer Khan and everybody. We are confident of doing very well in Sri Lanka."
Present during the selection meeting was India coach Duncan Fletcher, and Srikkanth said they had a healthy discussion with the Zimbabwean about the things that went wrong last season. "One good thing is that we had Duncan Fletcher with us. We had a lot of discussions about the pros and cons, about what happened, what did not happen, what's true and what's not true. We wanted to sort out everything and make sure this season starts with a bang," he said.
Srikkanth also informed that the selectors would meet again later this month to pick the probables for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. "For choosing the Twenty20 probables, we have enough time, probably till the 20th of this month. We will talk internally and have the opinions of Duncan Fletcher and everybody. It will be announced later after we sit down again," he said.
India will start their Sri Lankan tour with the first ODI in Hambantota on July 21.