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Asia Cup: MS Dhoni ruled out with injury, Virat Kohli to lead

India skipper MS Dhoni has been ruled out of the forthcoming Asia Cup and Virat Kohli will lead the side with Dinesh Karthik coming in as wicketkeeper

New Delhi: Under-fire Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Thursday ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup cricket tournament due to a side-strain injury that he suffered during the second Test in New Zealand, paving the way for Virat Kohli to lead the side.

"MS Dhoni has been ruled out of the forthcoming Asia Cup, to be played in Bangladesh, in February-March 2014. He sustained a Grade I left side-strain injury during the course of the second Test against New Zealand. He will be undergoing rehabilitation for ten days," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.

Tamil Nadu's wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has been picked as Dhoni's replacement.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. File Pic

"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked Dinesh Karthik as his replacement in the Indian squad for the tournament. Virat Kohli will lead India in the competition," the statement said.

Kohli has been India's standout batsman in recent years, stamping his mark in almost every overseas tour with impressive knocks.

India will join arch-rivals Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and debutants Afghanistan in the tournament that will start on February 25 and run until March 8.

India will begin their campaign with a match against Sri Lanka on February 28, before locking horns with Pakistan on March 2.

Dhoni's captaincy has been a subject of intense criticism following India's 0-1 defeat in the two-match Test series in New Zealand.

While former India skipper Sourav Ganguly called Dhoni's captaincy "obnoxious", Rahul Dravid termed it defensive.

India have lost their last four series abroad starting with the 4-0 rout suffered in England and ending with the loss to New Zealand on Tuesday. Away from home, Dhoni has captained India in 23 Tests, of which they have won five, lost 11 and drawn seven.

Kohli has led India in eight one-dayers when Dhoni injured his hamstring during a tri-series in the West Indies in July. He was rested for the following tour of Zimbabwe in July-August.

Under Kohli's leadership India won seven matches.

Karthik last played for India on the Zimbabwe tour under Kohli.

India's revised Asia Cup squad:

Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey

The Asia Cup schedule:

Feb 25: Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Fatullah, 1330 IST

Feb 26: Bangladesh v India, Fatullah, 1330 IST

Feb 27: Afghanistan v Pakistan, Fatullah, 1330 IST

Feb 28: India v Sri Lanka, Fatullah, 1330 IST

March 1: Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Fatullah, 1330 IST

March 2: India v Pakistan, Mirpur, 1330 IST

March 3: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Mirpur, 1330 IST

March 4: Bangladesh v Pakistan, Mirpur, 1330 IST

March 5: Afghanistan v India, Mirpur, 1330 IST

March 6: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Mirpur, 1330 IST

March 8: Final, Mirpur, 1330 IST

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