New Delhi Star opener Shikhar Dhawan won't take part in the remainder of the Sri Lankan tour as he is on his way back home to attend to his ailing mother, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Saturday.
This means that Dhawan won't take part in the first ODI and the sole T20I against the Islanders, which is scheduled to be played on September 3 and 6 respectively. Also, no replacement has been named for Dhawan by the BCCI.
"Shikhar Dhawan would be leaving for India tomorrow i.e. September 3rd to see his ailing mother. Mr Dhawan’s mother is stable and is recovering well at the moment," the BCCI said in a statement.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has decided not to name any replacement for the 5th ODI and the only T20I, scheduled on September 3rd and 6th respectively in Colombo," it added.
This means that Ajinkya Rahane is all set to open the innings along with Rohit Sharma in the remaining two matches of the tour.
Ahead of the start of the first ODI against Sri Lanka, Kohli said that Rahane remains in the set-up and he is the third choice opener in the limited-over format of the game for India. And now in Dhawan's absence, Rahane is set to play his first match of the five-match ODI series.
"Shikhar Dhawan came and got the golden bat in the Champions Trophy and then he has won us two Test matches with the bat. So he is an impact player and we all know that. So, Rahane understands that at this moment, he is the third opener and we will certainly back him there because we have shifted him around a bit in the middle order as well and it is not right. But he has grabbed his opportunities well as he was the man of the series in West Indies, so he continues to be in the set-up," Kohli said during the pre-match press conference of first ODI.
India have already taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match series and are heavy favourites to inflict a whitewash over Sri Lanka, with a win in the final ODI.
Sri Lanka are in danger of losing a second successive ODI series to India by a 5-0 margin. The last time these two sides played a bilateral series in November 2014, a depleted Lankan side lost 5-0 in India.
India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (c), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur
Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilshan Munaweera, Upul Tharanga (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Wanidu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Malinda Pushpakumara, Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Malinga
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